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Identifying Bullying:Kids Being Kids or Something More? Harrisonburg City Schools January 26, 2012
Statistics • The 2003 National Center for Education Statistics report on school violence reported increases in the percentage of students victimized by bullying in 2001 as compared to 1999. While crime at school as a whole has declined in recent years, bullying is one of the few problems to increase in prevalence • A national study found that 29.9% percent of students are involved in bullying either as a bully (13.0%), a victim (10.6%) or both a bully and a victim (6.3%) (Nansel, Overpeck, Pilla, Ruan, Simons-Morton, & Scheidt, 2001). • The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development estimated that 1.7 million U.S. children in grades 6 through 10 can be identified as bullies (Nansel et al., 2001).
What is Bullying? Bullying is when purposeful acts of meanness are repeated over time in a situation where there is an imbalance of power. • Bullying is all about power – the essence of bullying is not in the actions of the bully, but in their intentions.
What is Bullying Types of Bullying Physical: Hitting, shoving, pushing, kicking, etc. Emotional: Gossiping, embarrassing, threatening, leaving someone out, spreading rumors, cyberbullying, etc. Property: Stealing, destruction, vandalism
Bullying Myths • “It’s a boy thing” • “They’ll grow out of it” • “Bullying is no big deal”
Equal power Happens Occasionally Accidental Not serious Equal emotional reaction Not seeking power or attention Not trying to get something Remorse – Take responsibility Effort to solve the problem Imbalance of power Repeated negative acts Purposeful Serious – threat of physical or emotional harm Reaction from victim only Seeking power & control Gain material things or power No remorse – Blames victim No effort to solve problem Normal Conflict vs. Bullying
Normal Conflict vs. Bullying • Normal Conflict or Bullying -- You Decide http://youtu.be/iXXKMehgiAk?t=1m12s
Normal Conflict vs. Bullying How do you decide? • Look at the issue of power. • Look at willingness to resolve the conflict. • Ask the right questions to put the event into context.
Why do Children Bully? • Common Contributing Factors • No or inconsistent consequences • Observing bullying behavior • Victims of bullying • Developing negative self concept • Negative attention and feedback • Trying to “fit in”
Is My Child a Bully? Watch for warning signs • Some questions to ask yourself: • Has my child ever been accused of bullying at school or elsewhere? • Has my child gotten into trouble for fighting with other children? • Does my child become easily frustrated when they do not get their way? • Who are my child’s friends? How do they interact with others? • What does my child do with their spare time? • Does my child use negative terms to describe others? Do they show little concern for others in bad situations?
What Can I Do? • If you suspect your child is bullying others: • Take it seriously! • Talk to your child and find out why he/she is bullying • Apply clear, fair, and significant negative consequences • Spend more time with your child and supervise their activities
What Can I Do? • Require your child apologize to the victim • Explain why bullying behavior is unacceptable and how it affects others. • Teach your child that power can be experienced through doing good • Share your concerns with your child’s teacher and work with them to change your child’s behavior
Prevent Bullying Start at home! • Teach self-control through discipline • Teach the “Golden Rule” • Teach your child to control his/her anger • Communicate zero tolerance for the mistreatment of others • Teach your child that mistreatment and kindness are powerful
Prevent Bullying Bullying • Hold family meetings to teach empathy, sensitivity, and values • Teach kids to solve problems without using violence and praise them when they do • Discuss models of acceptance • Discuss bullying scenes you watch on television or in movies • Teach your child to say “I’m sorry”, “Please forgive me” and then be kind to the person
Sources • Virginia Youth Violence Project - http://youthviolence.edschool.virginia.edu • www.bullyfree.com • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) – www.nasponline.org