Studies in several countries have consistently shown that at least 15% of students in school are involved.
About 9% are targets.
About 7% bully others repeatedly.
Every 160,000 children miss school for fear of being bullied.
Most adults are not aware of a bullying problem and most victims do no tell an adult.
BOTH girls and boys bully.
Boys are more likely to engage in direct physical bullying. Girls tend to use covert behaviors such as social exclusion, peer rejection and spreading rumors.
There are a number of myths about bullying that need to be dispelled. They are…
Bullying at school really doesn’t do any harm.
The best thing to do is to just hit back – harder.
Bullying helps toughen kids up and make them stronger.
Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you.
It’s not really bullying – they’re only teasing.
Boys will be boys.
Kids just go through these things, adults shouldn’t get involved.
It’s just innocent fun.
Mrs. Delahanty shared with the students that there are consequences for both the bully and the victim.
For the Victim:
Depression, low self esteem
Poor Academic achievement
Emotional scars that are carried for a lifetime
Ongoing anxiety and fear
Develop a sense of powerlessness, hopelessness and helplessness
For the Bully:
Learn that violence and aggression “works”
60% have criminal convictions by age 24
Lose their popularity as they get older
Suffer many failed friendships and relationships
Bullying becomes a habit
Are likely to be unemployed as adults
For the School:
Disruptive negative behaviors
Poor achievement scores
Unsafe and tense atmosphere
Lack of cooperation and personal responsibility
They have seen people bullied in the family They are being bullied themselves They are selfish or spoiled and always want to get their own way They have no friends and feel lonely They feel bad about themselves and want to make others feel bad too They feel insecure and unimportant-bullying gives them power They want to look “big” in front of others They don’t understand how bad victims feel They have poor social skills They are overwhelmed by life They feel helpless, out of control and powerless and so they want to feel “in control” They bully to feel successful and competent They have a lot of aggressive behavior patterns They want to dominate their peers They refuse to accept responsibility for their actions They are often defiant and impulsive
They have seen people bullied in the family
They are being bullied themselves
They are selfish or spoiled and always want to get their own way
They have no friends and feel lonely
They feel bad about themselves and want to make others feel bad too
They feel insecure and unimportant-bullying gives them power
They want to look “big” in front of others
They don’t understand how bad victims feel
They have poor social skills
They are overwhelmed by life
They feel helpless, out of control and powerless and so they want to feel “in control”
They bully to feel successful and competent
They have a lot of aggressive behavior patterns
They want to dominate their peers
They refuse to accept responsibility for their actions
They are often defiant and impulsive
Tend to be loners
Cry or show emotions easily
Lack of self-defense skills
Aren’t able to dodge conflict with humor
May not think quickly on their feet
Are easily frustrated
Behave or look “different” than the other children around them
Tend to be physically weaker than the bully
Suffer from low self-esteem
Are anxious and cautious
May become depressed and/or suicidal
Be frightened of walking to or from school
Change their usual route
Not want to go on the school bus
Beg you to drive them to school
Be unwilling to go to school
Feel ill in the mornings
Begin to skip school
Begin doing poorly in their school work
Come home regularly with books or clothes destroyed
Come home starving because the bully has taken their lunch or money
Become withdrawn, start stammering, lack confidence
Become distressed and anxious
Cry themselves to sleep; have nightmares
Keep “losing” possessions or money
Ask for money or start stealing money (to pay the bully)
Refuse to say what’s wrong due to fear of retaliation by the bully
Have unexplained bruises, scratches or cuts
Begin to bully other children
Become unreasonable and aggressive
Give improbable excuses to explain any of the above
Ask your child directly if he/she is being bullied
TAKE THE PROBLEM SERIOUSLY – CONTACT THE SCHOOL IMMEDIATELY
Keep telling your child you love them and are 100% on their side
Reassure them that the bullying is not their fault
Remind them not to react to the bully and explain why
Practice assertiveness techniques with your child
Help your child to think up simple responses to the bully
Help your child minimize opportunities for bullying
Remind your child that keeping safe is more important than possessions
Make time to sit down with your child and listen to their feelings and ideas
Discuss alternatives with your child; encourage them to see themselves as having options
Praise your child when they accomplish something, remind them of these accomplishments
when they are feeling helpless or hopeless
Make opportunities for the children to succeed x Encourage children to take up a hobby, activity, or sport x Consider enrolling them in a self-defense class x Encourage your child to join new groups and lend support until he/she feels comfortable
STAY CALM. DO NOT BECOME ANGRY OR DEFENSIVE.
Find out exactly what your child has done and if they have behaved this way before. Keep in mind that bullies tend to minimize or deny their behavior.
Explore with your child to see if he/she has any idea why they bully and what they think might help.
Reassure them that you love them- it’s their behavior you don’t like.
Find out if there is something in particular troubling them and try to sort it out.
SET LIMITS. Let your child know that bullying is NEVER okay.
Arrange for effective, non-violent consequences that fit the behavior.
Increase the amount of supervision your child receives, both at home and at school.
Minimize the viewing of violent television shows, video games and movies your child is allowed to partake in.
Address any ongoing violence or problems within the family.
Stop any show of aggression. Help children recognize their anger and explore constructive ways to deal with the anger.
Discuss alternatives when your child may be faced with a frustrating situation or an opportunity to bully.
Encourage children to WALK AWAY, COOL DOWN, AND THINK.
Teach your child the difference between assertive, aggressive and passive behavior. Help him/her practice assertive behaviors. Be supportive.
Praise your children when they accomplish something.
Work with the teacher and school personnel in setting realistic goals for your child and follow up frequently, providing support and encouragement.
BE PATIENT. Changes take time.
Demonstrate assertive behavior.
Contrast aggressive or submissive responses through role-play or demonstration.
Intervene when interactions seem headed for trouble and suggest ways to work out a compromise
and express feelings in a productive way.
Teach children to seek help when confronted by the abuse of power by other children or adults.
Remind children to ignore routine teasing by turning their heads or walking away.
Teach children to ask for things directly and respond directly to each other. Friendly suggestions are taken more easily than bossy demands.
Teach children to ask nicely and respond appropriately to polite requests.
After a conflict between children, ask those involved to replay the scene.
Show the children how to resolve problems firmly and fairly.
Encourage children not to give in to bullies.
Identify acts of aggression, bossiness or discrimination for children and teach them not to accept them.
Show children the rewards of personal achievement through standing up for themselves, rather than depending on the approval of others only.
Tell a friend, family member or teacher what is happening.
IGNORE the bully or say NO firmly and WALK AWAY.
Don’t fight back if you can help it.
It’s not worth getting hurt to keep possessions or money.
Think up funny or clever replies ahead of time. Practice.
Avoid being alone in places you know bullies may pick on you. Stick with a group.
Practice “walking tall and standing strong” in a mirror.
Use assertiveness techniques.
Keep a diary about what is happening.
Do things to make yourself feel better.
Practice “fogging” which means to stare at them.
Ask a friend for help and support.
Join a self-defense class
Make a list of all the good things you can think of about yourself.
Learn to talk in a positive way to yourself and others.
Develop your skills and interests.
Do some volunteer work.
Get involved in a “cause” to protect people, animals or the environment.
Join a group that interests you.
Practice assertiveness skills every day.
Take a risk and make a new friend.
Hang around fun pleasant people.
Remember that changes take time and practice.
Be clear about what you want.
Plan ahead and practice.
Make your requests short and to the point; (I want my pencil back.).
Decide what you want and stick to it. You don’t have to be rude, but don’t get sidetracked.
When you say NO, say it firmly.
Listen to your body and to your feelings: what do you really want to say? What do you really want to do?
Try not to get caught up in arguments and DON”T get angry or upset if you don’t get your own way.
If you don’t want something, don’t give in to pressure. Be firm. Remember, you have the right to say NO.
If you are not sure and somebody is bugging you for an answer, say you need more time or more information.
Don’t make excuses: stand tall, look the person in the eye, and look like you mean business.
Offer an alternative, that way people understand that you are saying no to the activity, not to the person.
Dealing With Taunts and Insults:
DON’T GET UPSET!
Pretend you are in a “Fog Bank” and all the insults are absorbed by the fog.
Reply with something short: “That’s what you think.” “Maybe.” Then WALK AWAY.
Practice handling the worst thing the bullies can say.
Dealing With Anger:
GET AWAY from the situation.
Take several deep breaths and count to ten.
Exercise to help let off steam.
- Practice simple relaxation exercises.