How To Deal With Bullying
Bullying has been around forever. We've all gone through it as kids, the humiliation, the intimidation, the feeling of helplessness. But the form of bullying we knew is not the bullying that goes on today. It has become increasingly violent and can cause serious harm.
Bullying is a form of physical and psychological power, creating anxiety, humiliation and chronic fear in its victims. It is a power and control issue, and is found in schools, recreational facilities, just about anywhere children gather. Bullying is done usually in secret, and remains hard to detect unless you are aware of its symptoms.
Types of Bullying
Open and Direct: Physical
Pushing, pinching, punching, fighting, choking, cornering, forcing, intimidation, screaming, staring, kicking.
Indirect: Emotional, Social, Verbal
Isolating, put-downs, joking, sarcasm, teasing, ridicule, insults, ignoring, labeling, witnessing without speaking.
Some Indirect Secretive Aggressive Acts of Bullying
Gang initiation, family abuse, group membership, graffiti, hate crimes, e-mail threats, stalking, gossip, animal abuse, lying, social isolation from peers.
Bullies Need Help To:
Become aware of the consequences of their behaviour, increase understanding to how they affect others around them, learn new life skills dealing with anger and other emotions.
How To Help a Bully:
Always model good behaviour, reinforce acts of kindness to those you encounter at school. Children need to be taught that it is okay to tell a teacher or someone they trust if someone's behaviour makes them feel uncomfortable. They must understand that the code of silence MUST be broken in order for the same effect to go away. Seeking intervention early can prevent long term self-esteem damage to its victims, and gives an opportunity for the Bully to face responsibility and get support.
How To Help the Victim of Bullying:
Children need to learn to develop their own voice, to stand up for themselves without violence, to relieve isolation, shame and guilt, to develop self-assertive skills and strategies, and to overcame the fear of seeking intervention. Children need to be LISTENED to and given CREDIBILITY to their experiences. We can no longer turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to any form of bullying no matter what the age of the child.
* NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BULLIED.
* NO ONE SHOULD FEEL THAT THEY DID SOMETHING, OR IS NOT IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO SEEK SUPPORT WHEN THEY ARE HURTING.
* CHILDREN NEED US TO LISTEN TO AND GIVE SUPPORT TO THEIR FEARS OF BULLYING.
For more information on how to teach self-assertive behaviour to your children visit your local library.
From: Bullying... A Phamplet distributed by the Assumption College High School in Windsor, Ontario.