What Is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Some spine chilling statistics related to bullying
As such, we do not even have a national picture of accurate data and bullying statistics. It is often found that the number of bullies being reported and prosecuted is increasing. However, most of the studies reported for inclusion in the current bullying statistics are only suggesting about the problems in one region, one state or just one kind of bullying rather than telling us the state of the whole nation. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention released a report in 2012 that suggested a very horrifying fact. One in every 12 teenagers will be committing or attempting to commit suicide because they have been bullied at school or online.
The iSafe Foundation bullying statistics suggest that more than 50 percent of the children have been bullied online, of which 10-20% are being bullied on a regular basis. DoSomething.org presents even more horrifying facts. It suggests that 90 percent of the children in grades 4 to 8 have been bullied at some or the other point in their lives. The Teen Online & Wireless Safety Survey has suggested that 34 percent of the children who participated in cyber bullying were involved both as a bully and a victim. This makes bullying an even more complex issue. In general, we find the bully, the victim and the bystanders in situations related to bullying. However, it would be wrong to label children because the roles can change over time and they can keep changing again and again.
- 1 out of 4 Teens are Bullied.
- As many as 160,000 students stay at home on any given day because they are bullied.
- 1 out of 5 kids admit being a bully, or doing some “Bullying”
- 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
- On the playground 1 out of 7 students are bullied.
- Adult Intervention only 11%
Make Bully Prevention a common topic of conversation
Learn the red flags
If your child starts making excuses for not attending school or has become a loner for no specific reason, it is possible that things are not right. As the child feels literally helpless in situations like these, you will be noticing that he avoids going to places where he is being bullied. He may suddenly become very quiet and sometimes very aggressive as well. There can be changes in the eating habits of the children as well. Some of them might even appear lost at times. There are many children who start crying on every small thing. Every child will be responding to bullying in a different way. However, bully prevention must start by identifying these red flags only.
Empower your kids
No matter how much we are supporting or protecting our kids, it is quite important to understand that you can never really be with your children at all times. If they are involved in bullying in any way, it will be difficult for them to remove all their impressions through their lifetime. Therefore, you should learn to empower your kids more. Make them stand up for themselves and let them feel confident. Tell them how to walk away, how to report the incidents of bullying at home or at school and even raising their voice and telling their bullies to stop in a firm and confident tone. If nothing else seems to work, you can even opt for kids martial art classes for your kids. Bully prevention is one of the most important conversations you can have with your kids so don’t put it off. You could save a life by simply educating your kids and showing them how they can be a part of the solution.
Why Do Kids Bully?
Understanding how and why a bully uses aggressive behavior is key to knowing how to handle the situation.
A common reason that a kid is a bully is because he/she lacks attention from a parent at home and lashes out at others for attention. This can include neglected children, children of divorced parents, or children with parents under the regular influence of drugs/alcohol. In fact, bullying and Divorced Parents have a very strong connection.
Older siblings can also be the cause of the problem. If they’ve been bullied, they are more apt to bully a younger sibling to feel more secure or empower themselves.
And we cannot rule out the fact that an adult role model is a bully. This can include parents, teachers, coaches, etc. Very often parents are bullies, are angry, or don’t handle conflict well.
Kids usually bully because they learn this behavior at home. Bullying and Divorced Parents is often the problem. Kids don’t know how to deal with certain feelings or might even feel like they can’t talk to anyone at home so they end up acting out to fill a void.
Bullying is learned behavior which can be unlearned. Some kids are just more aggressive, dominating and impulsive by nature. It doesn’t always mean that they are bullies.
Bullies dominate, blame and use others. They lack empathy and foresight and have contempt for the weak. They see weaker kids as their target., and don’t accept the consequences of their actions. They crave power and attention.
- Bullied bullies get relief from feeling helpless and overpower others
- Social bullies have poor self-esteem and manipulate others through gossip and being mean
- Detached bullies plan their attacks and always likeable to everyone but their victims
- Hyperactive bullies don’t understand how to socialize and acts inappropriately and sometimes physically.
Most bullies don’t understand how wrong their behavior is and how it makes the person being bullied feel. No matter what kind of bully someone is, they have not learned kindness, compassion and respect.
Cyber bullying should especially be taken into context.When we move through the bullying statistics, we find that there is a new class of people who are different than those of the three conventional rules that we have seen. More than 90 percent of the kids and teenagers who are using social media websites have been known to witness cyber bullying in some form or the other and 84 percent of them have either stood up or have seen someone stand up for the victim as well. However, more than 35 percent of the kids tend to ignore bullying when they are victims. In fact, 50% of the victims never let their parents know about their bullying case. it is so important for parents and educators to teach kids about anti bullying and how they can help if they happen to witness such behavior.
The consequences of bullying are quite horrific and why children become bullies or victims is quite a complex phenomenon. Bullying and divorced parents has shown some links here. Studies suggest that children of divorced parents are more than likely to bully other kids because of their emotional dissatisfaction which emerges in the form of bullying. The children who do not find this kind of vent for themselves often become the victims of bullying. When these kids are faced with issues, they are not able to share their concerns at home properly. As a result of this, they either become too depressed or they also resort to bullying in order to vent their feelings or fill up the gaps that they have been feeling emotionally. It is important to remember that divorced kids have some serious emotional troubles if their parents have not parted ways amicably. The constant friction between their parents affects the children as well. Anti Bullying programs are especially important for the bullies themselves. They need to learn how to deal with their frustration in a positive manner and realize that what they are doing is detrimental to both the bully and the person being bullied.