Learn how to stop bullying in school, and what every parent should know about the effects of bullying.A victim who is bullied throughout childhood can have lifelong difficulties with self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and become socially isolated. Boy’s bullying is usually more direct, such as shoving, hitting, and taunting. Girl’s bullying tends to be indirect, such as gossip, rumors, cyber bullying, and social exclusion. Popular kids are more likely to be bullies – socially awkward, shy kids their victims. Parents of a bullied child should report it to the school. A good school will help protect the child.
It’s hard to stop bullying when victims often feel cowardly if they report it (as well as risk further harm to their social status). Watch for the effects of bullying with these potential warning signs:
• Unusual, small injuries
• Anxiety, sadness, or low self-esteem
• Loss of appetite or trouble sleeping
• Uneasiness toward school or group activities
• Unusual decrease in academic performance
The effects of bullying are similar to the warning signs of molestation described at Child Safety - Safeguarding.
By the way, cyber bullying (via Internet or phone texting) gives you solid evidence to prove your case to school authorities.
Opinion #1: How To Stop Bullying In School
Some experts think that today’s anti-bullying education makes bullying worse. If a victim reports bullying, s/he is a “tattletale” – further eroding their social standing. Instead, they feel that victims can put a stop to bullying by not letting the bully get a “reward:
• React to bullying with a smile and a shrug. Show it doesn’t bother you and bullies will soon stop.
• Don’t report bullies. It’ll just get worse in different ways. Instead, ask them why they’re being mean. Confide in an adult only if they’re in physical danger or need advice.
This may succeed
with a single, rather mild bully. A meaner bully, or a group of bullies,
may be more difficult. So sure, first try shrugging it off. If it
succeeds, great! If it doesn’t, go instead with the following:
Opinion #2: How To Stop Bullying In School
Other experts support today’s anti-bullying education urging victims to report bullying to school personnel. A child should feel free to tell adults, especially if there's a threat of violence.
Assure the victim that it’s not his/her fault, that s/he is not alone in this, and that there’s hope for the future.
Avoid minimizing the bully’s behavior, and don’t tell your child to fight back. Confront the bully or the bully’s parents only in a meeting with the school’s staff. The bully's parents may feel their child is being picked on and is more likely to not believe what they’re hearing. The defense mechanism comes into play, and the parent will stick up for their child over the accuser.
Remember, too, that a bully is usually a serial-bully with more than just one victim. Most anti-social misfits are serial offenders (such as the typical criminal) – and many bullies grow up to become adult criminals. An especially cruel young bully may well be a budding psychopath. See Criminal Minds - Predatory Mind for illuminating insights.
Early intervention by school authorities might help straighten out a young bully – and spare his/her future victims. At the least, it’ll likely cause him/her to quit bullying your child now. If it ever escalates to physical violence, call the police immediately.
• TheBullyProject.com has help for victims, parents, and educators.
• Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a nationwide organization of police chiefs and experts designed to prevent millions of young people from going through the agony of bullying, prevent thousands of suicides, and prevent thousands of kids from graduating from an apprenticeship in bullying to a graduate degree in crime and violence. See www.FightCrime.org.
• National Crime Prevention Council - see the new McGruff Bullying Prevention educational materials.