The importance of the recognition of bullying is to get people to notice and be aware of what’s going on around them. For them to see the damage and harm it is causing every individual. The statistics of bullying is so overwhelming that it awakening and frightening at the same time.
Bullying and Teasing: No Laughing Matter Unfortunately, teasing is often part of growing up — almost every child experiences it. But it isn’t always as innocuous as it seems. Words can cause pain. Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child. If more people were aware of the harm and damage cause by bullying, people would try to prevent it more and there would be less victims of it. It can be verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, taking a child’s possessions).
How Bullying Starts
Bullying behavior is prevalent throughout the world and it cuts across socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and cultural lines. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into the middle school. Victims of bullying are often shy and tend to be physically weaker than their peers. They may also have low self-esteem and poor social skills, which makes it hard for them to stand up for themselves. Bullies consider these children safe targets because they usually don’t retaliate.
Effects of Bullying
If your child is the victim of bullying, he may suffer physically and emotionally, and his schoolwork will likely show it. Grades drop because, instead of listening to the teacher, kids are wondering what they did wrong and whether anyone will sit with them at lunch. If bullying persists, they may be afraid to go to school. Problems with low self-esteem and depression can last into adulthood and interfere with personal and professional lives. Bullies are affected too, even into adulthood; they may have difficulty forming positive relationships. They are more apt to use tobacco and alcohol, and to be abusive spouses. Some studies have even found a correlation with later criminal activities.
If you’re concerned that your child is a victim of teasing or bullying, look for these signs of stress:
* Increased passivity or withdrawal
* Frequent crying
* Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
* Unexplained bruises
* Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
* Not wanting to go to school
* Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations
* Sudden change in the way your child talks — calling herself a loser, or a former friend a jerk How to Help
First, give your child space to talk. If she recounts incidences of teasing or bullying, be empathetic. If your child has trouble verbalizing her feelings, read a story about children being You can also use puppets, dolls, or stuffed animals to encourage a young child to act out problems. Once you’ve opened the door, help your child begin to problem-solve. Role-play situations and teach your child ways to respond. You might also need to help your child find a way to move on by encouraging her to reach out and make new friends. She might join teams and school clubs to widen her circle. At home and on the playground:
Adults need to intervene to help children resolve bullying issues, but calling another parent directly can be tricky unless he or she is a close friend. It is easy to find yourself in a “he said/she said” argument. Try to find an intermediary: even if the bullying occurs outside of school, a teacher, counselor, coach, or after-school program director may be able to help mediate a productive discussion. If you do find yourself talking directly to the other parent, try to do it in person rather than over the phone. Don’t begin with an angry recounting of the other child’s offenses. Set the stage for a collaborative approach by suggesting going to the playground, or walking the children to school together, to observe interactions and jointly express disapproval for any unaccepted behavior.
Many schools (sometimes as part of a statewide effort) have programs especially designed to raise awareness of bullying behavior and to help parents and teachers deal effectively with it. Check with your local school district to see if it has such a program. Schools and parents can work effectively behind the scenes to help a child meet and make new friends via study groups or science-lab partnerships. If you are concerned about your child: * Share with the teacher what your child has told you; describe any teasing or bullying you may have witnessed.
* Ask the teacher if she sees similar behavior at school, and enlist her help in finding ways to solve the problem. * If she hasn’t seen any instances of teasing, ask that she keep an eye out for the behavior you described. * If the teacher says your child is being teased, find out whether there are any things he may be doing in class to attract teasing. Ask how he responds to the teasing, and discuss helping him develop a more effective response. * After the initial conversation, be sure to make a follow-up appointment to discuss how things are going.
* If the problem persists, or the teacher ignores your concerns, and your child starts to withdraw or not want to go to school, consider the possibility of “therapeutic intervention.” Ask to meet with the school counselor or psychologist, or request a referral to the appropriate school professional. Bullying and suicide link together. Not many people see that. A lot of adults still see bullying as” just being a kid”. It is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects of victims, including suicide. People don’t see but a major portion of victims of suicide are linked to being bullied. The statistics on bullying and suicide are alarming:
* Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it. * Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University * A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying * 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above
* According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying Bully-related suicide can be connected to any type of bullying, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyber bullying, and sexting, or circulating suggestive or nude photos or messages about a person. Some schools or regions have more serious problems with bullying and suicide related to bullying. This may be due to an excessive problem with bullying at the school. It could also be related to the tendency of students who are exposed to suicide to consider suicide themselves.
There are too many kids out there, which are being bullied and teased. I think; I know if more people were aware of this issue more and the damage it causes to each person’s life, they would try to prevent it. There would be a lower rate of bullied victims.
Courtney from Study Moose
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