Challenges in Parenting: Bullying. Debbie Johnston Teacher, Mother, Advocate. Definition of Bullying. Bullying occurs when one or more individuals inflict physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse on another or others.
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Challenges in Parenting: Bullying
Bullying occurs when one or more individuals inflict physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse on another or others.
Bullying occurs most frequently when teachers/adults are not present.
Researchers continue to confirm that most bullying is hidden, secretive, and devious and that adults are not fully aware of the breadth and depth of the suffering and psychological damage that is occurring.
There have been 37 school shootings since 1974. In two-thirds of these, the shooters believed that they had been persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked and/or injured.
There has been an alarming increase in youth suicide in the last decade. Students are experiencing depression more frequently than ever before. Between 1980-1997, the rate of suicide increased 109% for 10-14 year old students.
74% of 8-11 year old students surveyed report that teasing and bullying occur in their schools. The rate increases to 86% among 15 -19 year olds.
A recent study indicates that in the United States, 5,736,417 students are involved in bullying - as a bully, a target or both.
The study measured the prevalence of bullying behaviors among youth and attempted to determine an association of bullying and being bullied with indicators of social adjustment: problem behavior, school adjustment, social/emotional adjustment, and parenting.
The sample included 15,686 students grades 6-10 throughout the US. Students filled out a survey that measured their involvement in bullying- either as a bully or as a target.
They found that 29.9% reported being involved: 13.0% as a bully, 10.6% as a target and 6.3% as both.
They concluded that the prevalence of bullying among US youth is substantial, and that given the behavioral and emotional difficulties associated with bullying, as well as the long term negative outcomes for the youth involved, the issue of bullying merits serious attention - both for future research and preventative intervention.
Teasing occurs when
Bullying occurs when
One out of four students identified as bullies by their classmates in the third grade had a criminal record by the age of 28.
Students that bully are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior, substance abuse, delinquency, vandalism, gang-related violence AND are at a significantly greater risk for suicide.
Bullying behavior can be a red flag for a multitude of other serious problems; abuse/neglect, personality disorder, depression, suicide.
Male bullies were at greater risk to have become abusive husbands. Female bullies were more likely to have become abusive mothers.
Conclusion: Bullying has an enduring effect and has apparent intergenerational transmission.
Proactive Bullies need to experience the consequences of their choices. Set the boundaries, establish the limits and enforce the penalties.
Most Effective Strategies:
Reactive Bullies need to develop relationship skills. Refer for anger management, empathy training, mediation and social skills training and problem solving approaches.
Most Effective Strategies:
acquires because of attractiveness, wealth,
athletic ability, or parents’ status
simply being “honest” with the victim
Elitist Bullies need to become less self-centered. Assign them community service projects, volunteer programs and provide opportunities for creative leadership.
Most Effective Strategies:
Over 160,000 students stay home from school each day because of fear of what might happen to them at the bus stop, on the bus, the playground, the bathroom, the cafeteria, the hallways, the locker room, the classroom, or walking home from school.
Research has determined that the psychological impact of severe or prolonged bullying is equivalent to the loss of a parent and can result in academic failure, depression, PTSD, eating/sleep disorders, substance abuse, cutting and other forms of self-harm, and suicide.
Today’s target can become tomorrow’s bully. Most of the students involved in classmate shootings had suffered rejection at the hands of their peers.
Help them understand that bullies “shop around” for targets and look for a victim who will:
Fly off the Handle!
They can’t control the actions of the bully, but they do have a choice about how they respond.
Restate your position against bullying,
Refuse to engage in the behavior,
Resist the temptation to retaliate,
Report the problem to a trusted adult!
The six types of witnesses have developed a range of responses.
1. Helper: They have the courage to challenge the bully and/or support the target.
2. Angry: They may become angry at the target for failing to eliminate the situation.
3. Inactive: They build a wall around their feelings to diminish the discomfort.
4. Fearful: They conceal the situation for fear of reprisal.
5. Voyeur: They encourage and support the bully to gain favor with the perpetrator.
6. Accomplice: They become an accomplice.
manner they feel comfortable.
has to make a moral decision. Play “What would you do?”
service for people outside their own social/ethnic groups.
A National Education Association study found that:
through your words and actions. Follow the Golden Rule!
procedures. If you don’t like the policy, address it with
administration or at a PTA meeting.
level, and interact with the other adults in a positive manner.
emphasize character education, bullying prevention, and/or
teach positive strategies for dealing with negative emotions.
holistic approach to education. Let’s put social and emotional
development back in the curriculum for early childhood!
Acts of bullying break the law when they become extortion, theft, assault, battery, murder, weapons possession, arson, hate crime, hazing, sexual abuse/harassment, rape or a violation of civil rights.
Any single act involving more than minor physical injury or a credible threat of injury to persons or property.
A pattern of abuse lasting for a period of more than two weeks, targets the same victim, or continues/escalates after sanctions have been imposed.
When you suspect abuse/neglect, substance abuse, or other serious underlying cause.
If either the bully or victim exhibits warning signs of depression or suicidal ideation.
Keeper of the Stars…