- Slides: 25
Bullying: How Parents Can Help
Bullying: What is it? l Bullying is the use of aggression with the intention of hurting another person. It can include: l Physical violence and attacks l Verbal taunts, name-calling, put-downs l Threats and intimidation l Stealing of money and possessions l Exclusion from the peer group
Bullying vs. Childhood Conflicts Bullying is intentional. The target does not knowingly provoke the bully and may have made it clear that the behavior is unwelcome. l The behavior is often repetitive. Bullying is generally a repeated action, but can sometimes be a single incident. l The incident involves hurtful acts, words, or other behavior. Bullying is a negative act intended to hurt someone else. l
Bullying vs. Childhood Conflicts l The act is committed by one or more people against another. Bullying can be done by a single person or by a group. l There is a real or perceived imbalance of power. A child without power cannot bully. Power can be defined as: intimidation, physical strength, or social status
Misperceptions vs. Facts l Misperception: Girls don't bully. Fact: Girls can and do bully, but often in a different way. Girls often use verbal and social bullying. Bullying for girls escalates during the middle school years. l Misperception: Words will never hurt you. Fact: Even though words don’t leave bruises or broken bones, they can leave deep emotional scars.
Misperceptions vs. Facts l Misperception: It was only teasing. l Misperception: Bullying will make kids Fact: Teasing in which a child is not hurt is not considered bullying. Teasing becomes bullying when the intent of the action is to hurt or harm. tougher. Fact: Bullying does NOT make someone tougher. It often has the opposite effect—lowering a child’s sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Bullying creates fear and increases anxiety for a child.
Misperceptions vs. Facts Misperception: Bullying is a normal part of childhood. Fact: Bullying may be a common experience, but this type of aggression toward others should not be tolerated. l Misperception: Children and youth who are bullied will almost always tell an adult. Fact: Most studies find that only 25%-50% of bullied children report to an adult. They may fear retaliation or that adults won't take their concerns seriously. l
Misperceptions vs. Facts l Misperception: Children and youth who bully are mostly loners with few social skills. Fact: Many bullies are often the “cool” or popular students. These students have friends who provide support for their actions. l Misperception: Bullied kids need to learn how to deal with bullying on their own. Fact: Some children have the confidence and skills to stop bullying when it happens, but many do not. Adults have critical roles to play in helping to stop bullying, as do other children who witness or observe bullying.
3 Types of Bullies Physical Bullies – are action-oriented. This includes hitting/kicking the victim, or taking/ damaging the victim’s property. Boys are more likely to be physical bullies. l Verbal Bullies –use words to hurt or humiliate another person. Includes name-calling, insulting, and constant teasing. Girls are more likely to be verbal bullies. l Relational Bullies – This type of bullying is linked to verbal bullying and usually occurs when children (often girls) spread nasty rumors about others, or exclude ‘ex-friends’ from the peer group. l
Targets of Bullies: 4 Common Traits… l They act vulnerable. When bullied, they become visibly frightened, cry, or do not have an appropriate response. This becomes an invitation to even more bullying. l They have few or no friends. Children who are socially isolated are easy targets. l They are not assertive. To the child who bullies, people who are not assertive seem weak or easily dominated. Targets are also less likely to tell someone about the bullying. l They have low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence. Children with low self-esteem may feel they deserve the bullying.
Signs/Symptoms of Bullying Students May: l l l l l Be frightened of walking to and from school Beg you to drive them to school Be truant Begin doing poorly in school work Come home regularly with clothes or books destroyed Refuse to talk about what’s wrong Have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches Begin to bully other children, siblings Come home starving (lunch money stolen) Become aggressive or disruptive
How Can I Help? l Listen: l If talk about school/friends daily your child is bullied, make sure that your child knows that you’re not disappointed/don’ t blame him/her. l Ask your child what he/she thinks should be done. What has your child tried? What worked and what didn’t?
How Can I Help? l Brainstorm responses with your child: l Use a response like “ok” or “thanks for your opinion” to show that you’re not going to respond to the teasing Make a joke Avoid areas where bullies hang out: Travel with friends Use an “I message”: l I feel ______ when ______ because ______. I would like _____. TELL A TEACHER/OTHER ADULT! l l (see handout for additional ideas)
How Can I Help? l Follow up with your child: How did it go? What might be more effective? l Keep in contact with your student’s teacher l Contact the school counselor for additional support/suggestions if the situation continues
How to Protect Yourself from a Bully l l l l l Make up your mind not to be bullied. Stand straight and walk tall. Look other kids in the eye. Stay away from places where bullies hang out. Treat all students (even the bullies) with respect. Call for help if a bully starts trouble. Stay calm. Don’t react. Refuse to fight. Try talking quietly or use humor. Walk slowly away.
An Important Note… The list of solutions to bullying DOES NOT include telling your child to 'fight back. ' This can be MORE dangerous for your child (especially if the bully is older and stronger). This could also get your child into trouble with the school, because your child may be seen as the instigator of a fight, as opposed to the victim.
Could my child be the bully? l Has difficulty fitting in l May look/act differently and be bullied themselves l Recent traumatic event? (divorce/death of loved one) l Bullying behavior witnessed at home/without friends: bullying becomes a way of controlling someone else
What if my child is the bully? Don’t ignore the situation: ask teacher/ counselor about behaviors seen at school l Ask your child about giving other students a hard time: Be direct but not accusatory l Ask your child to tell you about what they wish their school day was like: Look for clues. Is your child lonely? Struggling academically? l Decide whether you can work with the child to correct the behavior, or if outside help is needed. l
Family Risk Factors for Bullying l. A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents l Overly permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children's behavior) l A lack of supervision by parents l Harsh, physical discipline l Bullying incidences at home.
Children Who Bully Are More Likely To: l Get into frequent fights l Be injured in a fight l Vandalize or steal property l Drink alcohol l Smoke l Be truant from school l Drop out of school l Carry a weapon
How Else Can I Help? l Help build your child’s self confidence: l Don’t call out your child’s faults l Compliment specifically and sincerely l Encourage involvement in outside activities/friendship-building activities l Help your child “fit in”: consider appearance; communication skills, etc.
Upcoming Activities l National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week: October 21 -27, 2007 l HES will focus on Bullying Prevention Activities during the month of October 2007
Books of Interest: Children l l l Simon's Hook: A Story About Teases and Put-Downs by Karen Burnett Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomi de. Paola Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes Bullies Are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain Blue Cheese Breath and Stinky Feet: How to Deal With Bullies by Catherine De. Pino and Bonnie Matthews
Books of Interest: Adults Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman l Easing the Teasing: Helping Your Child Cope with Name-Calling, Ridicule, and Verbal Bullying by Judy Freedman l The Parent's Book about Bullying: Changing the Course of Your Child's Life by William Voors l
Presentation Resources l www. don’tlaugh. org l www. kidscape. org. uk l www. pacer. org l www. stopbullyingnow. com l www. stopbullyingnow. hrsa. gov l The Bully Free Classroom by Allan L. Beane