The Truth About Bullying and How to Stop It
Bullying is one of the biggest problems facing our youth, and since we’re living in the
digital age, those bullies are no longer confined to spreading their misery during school
hours. An email, text, or social media post can reach its intended target at any hour, day or night.
By learning about bullies and the methods they use, you can know what to look for so you can better help your child if you suspect there’s something wrong.
How Often Does It Happen?
One-quarter of all children will be bullied in their junior high or high school years. If it is happening to a child you love, you might not even hear about it. Of those who are bullied, only 40 percent will tell an adult about it.
If you’re wondering if your child might end up being a bully, approximately three in 10
children admit to bullying other children at some point. So how can you tell if your child is being a bully? It’s not always easy because they can be good at hiding their activities.
While the following list of risk factors doesn’t ensure a child will be a bully, it does put them at a greater risk of being one.
- Being unpopular.
- Having problems at home.
- Being well-connected and advantaged.
- Hanging out with bullies.
- Having trouble following rules.
- Seeing violence as a good thing.
If there are risk factors for kids who may become bullies, are there indications as to which kids might end up as the victims of bullies? Yes. Here are some things which may put a target on a child’s back.
- Being quiet.
- Suffering from anxiety or depression.
- Being less popular.
- Being considered different.
- Performing well in school.
- Being considered annoying.
What Does Bullying Entail?
In middle school, the most common form of bullying is name calling, with 44.2 percent of bullied children experiencing that. Here are some of the other forms of bullying your child might experience, as well as the percentages of bullied kids who experience that type of bullying.
- Teasing: 43.3 percent.
- Spreading of lies or rumors: 36.3 percent.
- Shoving or pushing: 32.4 percent.
- Slapping, hitting, or kicking: 29.2 percent.
- Exclusion: 28.5 percent.
- Threats: 27.4 percent.
- Having items stolen: 27.3 percent.
- Being subject to sexual gestures or comments: 23.7 percent.
- Cyberbullying: 9.9 percent.
How To Prevent Bullying
You can’t guarantee your child will never be bullied because you can’t control the actions of other people. And let’s face it — bullying doesn’t stop once you’re out of school. There are bosses, family members, and significant others who are bullies.
So when you look at bullying prevention, it’s more about giving people the tools they need to handle any bullying that comes their way. Let’s look at 10 ways to do that.
- Learn how to spot a problem by recognizing the signs of bullying.
- Educate children about bullying.
- Talk to your child from a young age — let them know they can always discuss
things with you.
- Teach your child not to bully others.
- Give your child an out — whether that’s teaching them to walk away, make a joke
about the situation, or telling the bully to stop.
- Instilling a healthy sense of confidence in your child.
- Staying involved with your child’s school and life.
- Reporting any bullying you see.
- Watch out for cyberbullying.
- Raise community support for anti-bullying measures.
Take the Proper Steps When Your Child Is Being Bullied
Your first instinct when your child is being bullied isn’t always a pretty one. After all,
nothing can anger a parent more than someone hurting their child.
But lashing out will make the situation worse. Instead, take a deep breath and take these following steps immediately:
- Contact the school to report it, even if the cyberbullying took place off of school
property. That will allow school officials to watch for any signs of bullying from that child.
- Discuss the situation with your child if they are older, and figure out how much
interference they are comfortable with.
- Ask the school for an action plan. What are they going to do to investigate the
- If you feel your child needs it, ask if they can meet with the school counselor.
- Keep a written record of every instance of bullying and the response you’ve
received from the school.
- If you are worried about physical danger to your child, involve the police.
Take Bullying Seriously
Sometimes adults think of bullying as a thing children just have to get used to. And while it is common, it can be extremely damaging to a child’s present and future sense of self if they don’t have the tools to cope with it.
That’s why you need to open the lines of communication and help your child through any bullying they experience.
We hope you enjoyed this promoted piece by Jenny Silverstone, a writer for the popular parenting blog Mom Loves Best!