Did You Know…
The word “bully” used to mean the total opposite of what it means now? Five-hundred years ago, it meant friend, family member, or sweetheart. The root of the word comes from the Dutch boel, meaning lover or brother. Big change!
” A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.”
Many parents assume that a few scuffles with other kids are par for the course during childhood, and that dealing with a bully or two builds character, especially if a son or daughter learns to stand up to the offender (with or without a punch or two being thrown in the process).
In everyday life, bullying is abusive, ugly and disturbingly common, with profound and sometimes lethal consequences, to be specific, bullying involves ongoing aggressive behavior intended to cause harm or distress in a relationship where there is an imbalance of power, physical or otherwise.
Bullying is literally “as old as sin” and can occur at any stage of life, but it is particularly common — and destructive — during childhood and adolescence. .
Then school begins and you thought the day you first enrolled your child in school, you thought you had been preparing yourself for a wide range of challenges, from academic struggles to lunchroom dramas to the aftermath of that first romantic entanglement. But bullying? That one was one you do not plan on.
Bullying covers a wide range of activities. It can be the act of pushing, shoving and other physical activity, or it can be verbal threats or something as simple as being made fun of because a child wears glasses, looks different, acts different or gets either good or poor grades.
Bullying is anything that takes the fun out of a child’s life or makes him feel depressed or alone. It can turn a simple event such as riding a school bus to school, going to a locker, entering the bathroom, or playing in the schoolyard frightening and scary.
Are You a Bully? Take this quiz from Girl’s Health and learn if your actions are the actions of a bully.
According to the National Centre Against Bullying, there are five different kinds of bullying behavior. They are:
1. Physical bullying: when physical actions such as hitting, poking, tripping or pushing, are used to hurt and intimidate. Repeatedly and intentionally damaging someone’s belongings is also physical bullying, says the center.
2. Verbal bullying: involves the use of negative words, like name calling, insults, homophobic or racist slurs, or words used to intentionally upset someone.
3. Social bullying: when lies, the spreading of rumors or nasty pranks are used. This includes repeated mimicking and deliberate exclusion.
4. Psychological bullying: involves the repeated and intentional use of words or actions which can cause psychological harm. Examples include intimidation, manipulation and stalking.
5. Cyber bullying: this is the big one at the moment and is when technology is used to verbally, socially or psychologically bully. It can occur in chat rooms, on social networking sites, through emails or on mobile phones.
Parents need to be aware of the warning signs when their children may be experiencing depression, severe anxiety, or PTSD due to bullying. The following is a list of red flags to look for……
- Is your child disconnecting from people and isolating him/herself in their room? Although teens usually separate from the family, they normally connect more often with their friends.
- Has your child developed physical problems such as stomachaches and headaches that interfere with their life?
- Has your child’s schoolwork recently suffered, and is it difficult for your child to concentrate?
- Does your child have trouble falling, or staying asleep or experience frequent nightmares?
- Does your child seem listless, unenthusiastic, and disinterested in life?
- Have you noticed that your child seems hypervigilant, extremely nervous, depressed, or emotionally explosive (beyond the normal teenage anger and moodiness).
Bullies generally set their sights on:
- Anyone who’s different – whether that is their looks, weight, accent, clothing or interests. Disabilities make some children an easy target.
- Those who are small or young – and not so able to defend themselves
- Those who will react quickly – popular targets are children who get upset or cry easily
- Kids who are not sporty or are poor performers at school
- Anyone who is socially anxious or struggles with shyness
It is important for parents to discuss the facts on bullying with their children to help teach them how to watch out for bullying and to avoid being bullied.
Eric E. Rofes tells the following story of being bullied. When I was a young boy, the bully called me names, stole my bicycle, and forced me off the playground. He made fun of me in front of other children, forced me to turn over my lunch money each day, and threatened to give me a blackeye if I told any adult authority figures.
At different times I was subject to a wide range of degradation and abuse–de-pantsing , spit in my face, and forced to eat the playground dirt….to this day, their handprints, like a slap on the face, remains stark and defined on my soul.
“Often bullying is described as a school thing. But it happens more than just at school.”It affects people on buses, in the street, at work and at youth clubs. It can affect relationships between cousins and siblings and it can strike at any stage.”
Kids can help keep other kids from being bullied. If you are a kid, don’t let yourself be part of the problem.
- Speak up when you see someone else being picked on. It can help to say something like, “Cut it out. That’s not funny.” If this is too hard or scary to do, walk away and tell an adult.
- If someone sends you a mean e-mail about another person, don’t forward it to others. Print it out and show it to an adult
• 1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some “Bullying.”
• 8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of Bullies.
• 43% fear harassment in the school bathroom.
• Playground statistics – Every 7 minutes a child is bullied.
Cyber Bullying Statistics
• 42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once.
• 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly 1 in 5 have had it happen more than once.
• 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.
• 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online.
• 53% of kids admit having said something mean or hurtful to another person online.
If you are lashing out at someone because you are mad or upset, you need to get help. There are lots of resources that are available for you.
Check out these websites and also talk to an adult that you trust. Once a bully is not always a bully.
Stand Up – Official Music Video for BULLY- Mike Tompkins…A Great Anti-Bullying Video.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”