Talking to your children about bullying! Start the conversation!
- Behavior that hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally
- An inability for the target to stop the behavior and defend themselves
- An imbalance of power that occurs when the student doing the bullying has more physical, emotional, or social power than the target
- Repetitive behavior; however, bullying can occur in a single incident if that incident is either very severe or arises from a pattern of behavior
- Verbal: Teasing, Name Calling, Making threats, Intimidating, Making demeaning jokes about someone's differences, Spreading Rumors, Gossiping, Slandering
- Emotional/Social: Exclusion, Social Manipulation, Telling someone who they can and cannot be friends with, Spreading Rumors, Humiliation
- Physical: Hitting, Kicking, Pushing, Taking or damaging property, Forced or unwelcomed contact
- Sexual: Sexually charged comments, Inappropriate or lewd glances, Inappropriate physical contact, Targeted sexual jokes
- Cyber: Sending harassing/embarrassing/or otherwise unwelcome emails or text messages, Threats, Sexual Harassment, Hate speech, Ridiculing someone publicly in online forums, Poting lies/rumors/or gossip about the target and encouraging others to distribute that information
- Education: School avoidance, Decrease in grades, Inability to concentrate, Loss of interest in academic achievement, Increate in dropout rates
- Heath: Headaches & Stomachaches, Sleeping problems, Low self-esteem, Increased fear or anxiety, Depression, Post-traumatic stress
- Safety: Self-isolation, Increased aggression, Self-harm and suicidal ideation, Feeling of alienation at school, Fear of other students, Retaliation
- The person targeted by the behavior: Anyone can be bullied. These children might struggle with the ability to defend themselves, Provide an emotional reaction to being bullied, Have few or no close friends (peers), Avoid being noticed, Have less-developed social skills, Have difficulty communicating and reading social cues, especially nonverbal cues
- The student who bullies: ANYONE can bully - bullying is about behavior not labels. When schools, teachers, parents, and other adults label a child as a "bully", that sends the message that they can't change their bullying behavior, that everyone expects them to always be a "bully". It is important to avoid labeling the child engaging in bullying behavior as a "bully". They must, of course, be held accountable for their actions, but it's equally as important to find out WHY they are engaging in that behavior. By addressing the root causes of behavior, adults can help children make lasting, positive changes in their behavior.
- The role of the Bystander: These children are powerful because they often know about bullying long before adults, they know the culture of their school and who is vulnerable to bullying, they usually don't like the bullying, but aren't sure how to help, they often see this bullying as an issue they can make their own, if they can act with support, they are a powerful group to engage. By showing support for the target, or even just not joining in the bullying, bystanders can change the course of the situation. Nearly 60% of bullying situations will end when a peer intervenes. When your child sees bullying happen, they can make a difference!
- Talk to them: It is NOT their fault. They are not to blame. They are NOT alone. You are here to help. It is the adults' responsibility to make the bullying stop. Bullying is never okay and they have the right to be safe. No one deserves to be bullied. They deserve to be treated with respect. They have the right to feel safe at school.
- Working with the school: Establishing a collaborative relationship with the staff at your child's school is an important step in advocating for your child. Tips for meeting with school staff HERE!
- Mobile and Online Safety: Raise the topic of cyberbullying with your child. Set cyber safety rules. Know what your children are doing online.
We need to do our job as parents, so the more we know, the more we can help! Please take a moment to learn more about bullying prevention so you can help your children no matter which role they fall into when it comes to the act of bullying. It is up to us, but we are not alone. So much more information is available at PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center for you and your children.