Many of you may think that bullying isn’t a taboo topic anymore based on anti-bullying legislation and parents, teachers, and school administrators are supposedly more involved than ever in prevention. But it is still a taboo topic — to those that are being bullied.
I almost didn’t post this because I felt it was to statistics heavy.
Before I go any further take a moment and think back. Were you ever bullied as a child? How did it make you feel? Did you feel that the adults around didn’t understand? Did you talk to them about being bullied? Odds are if you were one of thousands being bullied you didn’t and it hurt.
Being bullied took a bite out of you self-confidence, your self-worth. You may have even thought about harming yourself. And I’m sure you felt your parents or grown ups period didn’t understand what you were feeling and/or going through and I betcha 10 to 1 you didn’t talk to anybody about it either.
Now think about you today. How has being bullied helped or hindered you in life? Do you tend to overcompensate? Stay in the background? Try to make yourself invisible?
Being bullied has lasting effects on its victims. Many victims of bullying have reported regular stress, depression, low self esteem, feelings of inadequacy among other things.
There are four types of bullying:
- Physical — includes hitting, kicking, pinching, tripping and pushing
- Verbal — includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse
- Social & Emotional — also called “relational bullying, includes behavioral actions designed to harm a child’s reputation or cause humiliation
- Cyber — the newest of the of the types. It includes taunting or humiliation through social media sites (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.)
Some facts and stats
How can you tell if your child or someone you know is being bullied?
Look for sudden changes in your child’s personality (i.e. depression, declining grades, sleeplessness, feeling sick or faking illness, avoidance of social settings, self-destructive behaviors). This is not an exhaustive list and keep in mind that there are some children that don’t exhibit signs.
How can you help your child become more resilient to bullying?
No parent wants to see their child hurting. There are things that you can do to help your child deal more positively with bullying.
- Help your child find something he/she is good at. This will help take away some feelings of inadquacies.
- Help your child meet new positive people outside of the school enivronment. This can help them see that there are people out there that are not out to hurt them.
- Assure your child that if they report bullying they are not being a tattle tale.
- Maintain open lines of communication and don’t deminish their feelings.
- Don’t tell your child to ignore it. Words hurt.