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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.
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.
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.