Bullying is not a new thing. It has been happening for ages to every generation of children but it has gotten worse – much worse. The definition of bullying in the current day is “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” Bullying is a repeated behavior and may cause traumatic effects that can last a lifetime for the child being bullied and the one who is the bully as well. What Includes Bullying?
- Calling someone mean and degrading names
- Poking “mean fun”
- Taunting / Harassing
- Threatening physical harm and pain
- Causing physical harm and pain
- Causing emotional harm and pain
- Sexual comments
- Leaving someone out of group activities
- Spreading rumors
- Telling others not to befriend someone
- Breaking or taking someone else’s things without consent
Bullying happens mainly at school but can also happen in outside of school activities like at sporting activities, dance class, birthday parties, and on the internet, just to name a few. This mean behavior causes the child being bullied to become insecure, closed off, angry, secluded, and makes him or her feel that they’re not good enough. Social acceptance starts at a young age and if children don’t feel safe in school, where they are molded and developed for the real world, it can have a lasting effect.
Teach Your Child about Bullying Before it Happens
Open communication should start at a young age about bullying. Children need to learn that bullying is not acceptable and how to stand up for themselves appropriately and also how they should not bully others. They need to know that if they see a child being bullied, they should notify an official or teacher to rectify the situation before it gets worse. Continue open communication with your children throughout their school years.
How to Deal with Bullying Once it Starts
- Stop it Immediately – Educate your child to notify an adult to stop bullying the moment it starts. The bully needs to know bullying will NOT be accepted under any circumstances.
- Discuss what happened – Listen to both sides of the story and find a common ground to rectify the situation.
- Show love and kindness – The child being bullied and the bully both need to be shown love and kindness. More than likely, the bully is lacking some kind of love and attention at home and is acting out on another child. Discipline is important but love needs to be shown throughout the process.
- Teach your children to notify an adult to help stop bullying if they see it happening. Being a bystander and not saying anything is just as bad as being the bully. Open communication is key to minimize or avoid bullying altogether.