my child is being bullied… what do I do???
Submitted by Andrew Farthing, a MSSU Communication Intern at The Alliance.
Braces, glasses or simply looking different than someone else; are any of these good enough reasons for children to be bullied? Here at The Alliance of SWMO we believe that NO ONE should ever be bullied. In today’s post we are going to teach you the cold hard facts of bullying and what you can do to help put an end to it!
Here are facts you need about bullies to ensure that your child knows what to do in the event that he/ she is being bullied. There are also some things that we can all do to help end bullying for good!
Did You Know?
- 17% of American students report being bullied 2 to 3 times a month or more within a school semester. Take a stand in your community by hosting a Bullying Policy Makeover event customizing your school’s anti-bullying policy.
- Over 67% of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.
- 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
Children who are bullied can feel like they are powerless, unpopular, different and most importantly, alone. Kids who are bullied have a hard time standing up for themselves because the bully makes them feel like they are less powerful. This can cause the child being bullied to feel sad, lonely and nervous. This could result in having problems in school with academics and could even cause the child to begin bullying others.
Facts About Bullies
Bullying is never ok. Those who bully use power to hurt people. Power does not always mean bigger or stronger. Power can also mean popular or smart. Or, the kid doing the bullying may know a secret about the kid being bullied. Kids who bully can have other problems too, even when they get older, like using alcohol and drugs, getting into fights, and dropping out of school.
Bullies often think that…
- Bullying because their friends do it.
- Think bullying will help them fit in.
- Think they are better than the kid they are bullying.
- Bully kids because of being bullied themselves.
- Personal hardship (Family problems)
Take A Stance!
What should I do when I am being bullied? StopBullying.gov gives us some helpful tips for stopping bullying. Breaking it down to “in the moment, after the incident & over time” can help cure bullying from the inside out.
In the Moment…
- Walk Away: If possible, remove yourself from the situation immediately.
- Say “Stop:” If it feels safe, tell the aggressor to stop in a firm but calm way. If you feel confident to do so, use humor or a clever response to weaken the effect of the mean behavior.
- Keep Cool: Try to control your emotions in the moment. Showing fear or anger may egg on the aggressor.
- Don’t Fight: Try not to fight or bully back in response—this may just continue the cycle of bad behavior.
After the Incident…
- Tell a Friend: Don’t keep the bullying a secret. Tell a friend and ask for support. You will feel better, and your friend can help you decide what to do next and go with you to get assistance.
- Report to an Adult: Tell a trusted adult what has happened. Remaining silent will not make things better and may worsen the situation. Reporting a serious problem is not the same as “tattling.” Adults need to know about bullying behavior so they can support you and take action to stop it.
- Find Safe Spaces: Try to avoid “danger zones” where bullying is likely to take place and where there are few adults who can help. Try to surround yourself with supportive friends or classmates whenever you can.
- Practice Responding: Reflect on how you might react to bullying in the future and rehearse those responses with a trusted friend or adult. Think about what strategies have worked or fallen short, and don’t give up if your first response is not successful.
- Express Your Feelings: Keep a diary or journal—written, electronic or video—where you can record your private thoughts and feelings. It is important to express yourself, especially when you are going through a tough time.
- Reach Out: Find new friends, hobbies or interests that occupy your time in positive ways and make you feel good about yourself. Avoid spending too much time on your own.