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School has started for most children and others will be starting after Labor Day weekend. That being said lets talking about Bullying and how to notice it, prevent it, and more.
Bullying is becoming more common than ever before or it just being released more in the media. Bullying does not discriminate against gender, age, or social-economical status. There are different kinds of bullying including physical, verbal, social, and cyber.
- Physical is defined as hitting, kicking, tripping, etc.
- Verbal includes teasing, name-calling, intimidating, insulting, etc.
- Social is often the hardest to recognize as it includes talking behind others’ backs, rumors, mimicking, playing mean jokes, etc.
- Cyberbullying can be abusive or hurtful texts emails or posts, images or videos and more.
We all end up being bullied at one point in our lives regardless if we knew it at the time. So why not learn the signs and stop the progression. It is time for a change for our future generations.
Signs of Bullying:
There are a lot of warning signs to indicate someone is affected by bullying, however, recognizing some warning signs is the first step in taking action against bullying.
- Unexplainable injuries.
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry.
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness.
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares.
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school.
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem.
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Often times the person being bullied may feel helpless and may fear being seen as weak by asking for help from an adult or fear backlash from the bully. It is often a humiliating experience and whether true or false what is being said no child or person should ever feel the need to socially isolate themselves or worse.
Ways to Prevent Bullying:
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying or stopping it from continuing to occur. They can:
- Help kids understand what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Let them know bullying is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Make sure kids know how to get help in any situation.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Listen to them when they talk. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
- Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
- Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
How to React to Bullying:
When adults respond quickly to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
- Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help if needed including law enforcement.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without an adult’s help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw or question the children involved in front of other kids. Take each child aside that was involved or saw the incident to an office or room (a private place) and ask what they saw.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if needed.
Laws, Policies, & Regulations Regarding Bullying:
State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Each state including the District of Columbia addresses bullying differently. Some have established laws, policies, and regulations. Others have developed policies schools and local educational districts can use as they develop their own local laws, policies, and regulations.
If you want to read more and determine what your state law, policies, and regulations her, click here.
Due to all my reading and researching about bullying after all the recent crimes about shootings in school made me think back to when I was in grade school. There definitely times where I was bullied and there will always be bullies even though it would be wonderful if there wasn’t. However, we can try to stop the cycle of bullying.
Oftentimes I have felt bullied due to being unable to say no or for the fact that I can gain weight so easily. If it weren’t for my physical activity I would no doubt be very overweight. Even though when I do my BMI I am already classified as overweight have always been. I was picked on in middle school for it and to this day I am self-conscious about it. As a result, I watch my portions and run several miles a few days a week depending on other family member’s obligations.
I have since then come to recognize that there will always be people that hate you and always be others that admire you. You may not hear the positives as much as you would like but know in your heart that as long as you are doing the best you can do then you are making a difference.
I would love to make a difference in your life and for you to share any experience you have had with bullying. Feel free to use an alternative name or contact me through the Contact Me link under About Me. Sharing makes us stronger and helps us find a solution that works best.
My husband was bullied a TON when he was a kid. To this day it still haunts him, which is sad. I will be so heartbroken if my son is bullied when he is older – but my husband is going to be the PERFECT person for him to turn to for advice since he has been through it too!
I feel awful for your husband. I wish people understood the lasting effects it has on others as I still feel them too. I will pray your son never gets bullied and will always be the one to stand up for others.
I’m so sorry you were bullied hun, I was bullied a lot in high school, and some days I don’t even know how I made it through it all. Most of my bullying was around my weight as well but because of lack of weight. Would you believe I still get rude people making comments about it even as an adult? Not as bad the last few years but even when I was pregnant with our twins’ people blamed my weight to be the cause of their medical issues.
I think adults need to know that bullying starts with them. We model our behaviour upon our children’s eyes that are constantly watching. They are smart, absorbant sponges that pick up everything. We also need to realize that every child can be a bully, not just other people’s children. I think that is a huge problem in the bullying world, parents refusing to accept that their children can bully.
I’m glad you wrote this post hun, it’s a great topic to share! Thanks for raising awareness!
My school counselor often talks about being an upstander instead of a bystander. Standing up for what is right makes such a huge difference. One excellent book for kids about this is called Red by Jan De Kinder. Thanks for the post!
I was bullied throughout primary and secondary school. The teachers always made me feel like it was my fault for being somehow different and not managing to naturally fit in with the other kids.
I’d say not blaming the person being bullied goes pretty high on trying to minimise the mental health impact from my experience.
I also, in primary school, had the headteachers secretary come into class and announce to the whole class that it was time for me to go and see Mr Burr to talk about “your little bullying problem”.
In secondary school I learnt to hide with teachers – volunteering at the school library followed by a lunch club, so that I’d never be alone for the bullies to find me.
That is not right how they handled the situation at all! I do remember a girl in my English class in high school being picked on by the teacher. She was getting really upset so I stood up for her and we both got kicked out of class. Sent to the principles office and then we had to speak with officer at the school about the situation. Needless to say, it never happened again and she remembers the whole incident since she was so embarrassed.
Such a helpful article! I worry every day about my kids. My son, who was 7 at the time, was severely bullied last year by a kid who was 3 years older. He didn’t show any signs and didn’t say anything to us until about 2 months after it started! The bully was even kicking and punching him. It breaks my heart! Now we communicate daily about how his day went, what games he played at recess and with whom, etc.
I do this with my children now to start a routine so they stay open with me. I feel awful for your son. No one should ever punch or kick another. My heart breaks for your son.
It is very sad to hear all of your stories. My older brother was bullied in middle school. I remember him staying home a lot because he had migraines, now I know why he had migraines. That was back in the day before the internet. I can’t imagine going through that nowadays. At least when he was at home, he was safe and not bullied. Now, with the internet, social media, and smart phones, it never ends. It follows them home and goes on all night.
It really does. I wish it didn’t. I am so scared about my kids starting school. However, I hope they stand up for anyone and anything.
Sunshine | merakimusings.org
This is a must share article, very powerful. Those days are very tough, when we get bullied and can’t express it to others or even to our parents. A sense of fear made home in our subconscious. We must speak for ourselves. Thanks for the post.
Oh Ashley this is an awesome article and needs to be shared with the world. I have taught all 3 of my children to be kind to people and stand up for anyone the see being bullied. My heart goes out to you and all survivors of bullying!
Awesome tips, especially with so many kids going back to school. It’s unfortunate how many parents don’t model the appropriate behavior to spread more kindness and compassion, but the more people can read and share articles like this the more empowered our kids will be!
Such an important topic, sadly. I know so many who have been bullied. And you are right, it’s usually modeled behavior by an adult or the child who bullies is being mistreated as well in other situations. Awareness is crucial and open communication. Thank you for sharing.
Much needed as school is starting. I feel it is so a conversation parents should be having on a regular basis. Bullying can be so subtle even excluding someone. Frank open discussion is constantly needed. I don’t think saying it once and thinking it sticks is the answer. Thanks for putting this out there.
Thank you very much! It is very interesting and useful article!! I think I can use some tips from this article in future! thanks again!!
This is a great article. One of my sons was bullied for a brief amount of time a few years ago and it was extremely difficult as a parent to deal with. My son would come home every day upset. We told his teacher and she separated them in class, and eventually, they ended up becoming good friends!
Thanks for sharing!