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Mar 1st 2011 at 7:05 AM

Stop Bullying: Let's Start a Revolution!

Children who are bullied lose an important part of themselves. They are more likely to suffer emotionally and physically; they may not want to see their friends; and may not have the same interests they used to enjoy. They may lack attention at school, or may not even want to go. It can happen in any grade - elementary school, middle school or high school. But whenever it occurs, it causes children to suffer needlessly.

Each year, parents, educators, and guardians, strive to stop bullying. Whatever we have been doing, has not been enough...there is still more to do. Recent video footage of a girl being attacked by other girls, is only one small bit of evidence that reminds us that we need to do more to stop bullying before it has a chance to escalate. Parents must be involved in their children's everyday lives. Parents must talk to children - ask if they are they being bullied, or if they know someone who is being bullied. Or possibly, are they the ones doing the bullying? Parents cannot sit idle and wonder about their child's day. It's up to us as adults to show children that bullying will not be tolerated -- it must be stopped. Get active today, and help start a revolution for no more bullying!

Your Three-Step Plan to Stopping Bullying*

Discovering that your child is being bullied can be devastating. You may feel bewildered, scared, sad, guilty, angry, or helpless. You may even feel like a target yourself. While it is important to recognize and acknowledge all those emotions, remember that feelings alone will not change the situation. The most effective thing you can do is focus on the issue and develop a plan. Here are tools, strategies, and tips that can help you develop successful short-term and longer-term plans for protecting your child from bullying.

1. First, make sure that the issue is bullying and not routine childhood conflict.

It’s bullying if the action is hurtful, intentional, and repetitive, and there is a power imbalance between the children. Sometimes, children are afraid or embarrassed to talk about bullying. If you suspect your child may be a target of bullying, you may want to try these approaches to find out for sure. Ask and listen:

  • Did someone hurt you on purpose?
  • Is the other person bigger than you or scary to you?
  • Did the child know you were being hurt?

Watch for signs, such as:

  • Suddenly wanting to be driven to school instead of taking the bus
  • Unexplained stomachaches or headaches
  • Changes in sleep routines or temperament

2. If your child is being bullied, you can take action at home to help your child learn how to respond more effectively.

Teach direct and indirect techniques for dealing with bullies. You may want to encourage your child to:

  • Avoid situations where bullying occurs
  • Hang out with classmates, friends, peers, or siblings
  • Tell the child who is bullying to stop
  • Do something the bully does not expect or want: yell, blow a whistle, laugh

Encourage group involvement. Children who interact with peers are less likely to be bullied. You may want to help your child:

  • Join an after-school program or activity
  • Develop a hobby that allows interaction with others

3. If your child is being bullied at school, you can work with teachers and administrators to create a safe environment.

Talk with teachers and administrators.

  • Notify them of the situation in writing. Schools are obligated to respond to bullying.
  • Discuss ways the school can help, such as by developing a bullying awareness program.

    Be part of your child’s school.
    • Join the PTA and raise awareness of bullying as an issue.
    • Offer to speak to the school board and be the "bullying expert."
    • If your child has disabilities, you can build bullying prevention goals into your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).   

    Bully Advice for Kids

    Bullies can make you feel:
    Bully Advice for Kids

    • Sad
    • Depressed
    • Angry
    • Vengeful
    • Scared
    • Confused

    How a bully becomes a bully:

    • He is angry.
    • Someone might have bullied him in the past.
    • He has a low self-esteem. He thinks controlling you will help him feel better about himself.
    • He might have been exposed to a lot of violence in the media. (TV, books...) A lot of movies make violence look cool.
    • But if you look closer, the "good guy" is always cooler!
    • His caretakers might have lacked in supervision. They might have been too busy to teach him how wrong it is to hurt others. Or maybe they spoiled him, making him think he can do anything he wants, including bullying!

    What to do about bullies:
    Bully Advice for Kids

    • Inform your parents and teachers.
    • Travel to school and social events in groups. Don't walk alone. Avoid the bully at all costs.
    • Ignore him. That will take away his power he "thinks" he has over you. He'll get bored, and go look for someone else to pick on.
    • Confront him with the problem. Do this only if the bullying is mental, not physical. Maybe you can explain how it makes you feel. If he doesn't care, and continues to bully you, report him, and avoid him.
    • Take a safety training workshop. This should only be used as a last resort (in self defense). Using this to show off for your friends, or simply because someone made you angry, could lead to law suits, and YOU becoming a bully!

    I hope this information helps you. Take care of yourselves & stay safe.
    Your continued friend MrSnoops

    Please to comment
    Mar 1st 2011 at 7:31 AM by mrsnoops
    all nice and pretty now!
    Mar 1st 2011 at 7:23 AM by mrsnoops
    not sure what happened there, it's happened to me before? Sorry, what a drag...

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