May 22, 2012 > Stop Bullying
Submitted By Newark PD
Bullying has become a tidal wave of epic proportions. Although bullying was once considered a rite of passage, parents, educators, and community leaders now see bullying as a devastating form of abuse that can have long-term effects on youthful victims, robbing them of self-esteem, isolating them from their peers, causing them to drop out of school, and even prompting health problems and suicide.
A recent study by the Family and Work Institute reported that one-third of youth are bullied at least once a month, while others say six out of 10 American teens witness bullying at least once a day. Witnessing bullying can be harmful, too, as it may make the witness feel helpless - or that he or she is the next target.
Children who are bullied are often singled out because of a perceived difference between them and others, whether because of appearance (size, weight, or clothes), intellect, or, increasingly, ethnic or religious affiliation and sexual orientation.
Bullying can also be a gateway behavior, teaching the perpetrator that threats and aggression are acceptable even in adulthood. In one study by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, nearly 60 percent of boys whom researchers classified as bullies in grades six to nine were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24, while 40 % had three or more convictions.
What Parents Can Do:
A big, tough kid stops a smaller kid on his way to school and threatens to hurt him unless he hands over his homework. The popular girls at school won't let anyone sit at their lunch table except their friends. These two bullying scenarios and others happen more often than most adults realize. Nearly 74% of eight to 11-year-olds say teasing and bullying happen at their school. But what exactly is bullying?
* Fighting, threatening, name-calling, teasing, or excluding someone repeatedly and over time
* An imbalance of power, such as size or popularity
* Physical, social, and emotional harm
* Hurting another person to get something
Many parents don't think that bullying is as big a problem as bringing a weapon to school or drug use but its effects can be severe and long lasting. Every day, nearly 160,000 children miss school because they are scared of bullying, according to the National Education Association. Bullying doesn't only negatively affect its victims, but also the bullies themselves.
Kids who are bullied are more likely to:
* Do poorly in school
* Have low self-esteem
* Be depressed
* Turn to violent behavior to protect themselves or get revenge on their bullies
Parents can play a central role to preventing bullying and stopping it when it happens. Here are a few things you can do:
* Teach kids to solve problems without using violence and praise them when they do.
* Give children positive feedback when they behave well to help their build self-esteem. Help give them the self-confidence to stand up for what they believe in.
* Ask your children about their day and listen to them talk about school, social events, their classmates, and any problems they have.
* Take bullying seriously. Many kids are embarrassed to say they have been bullied. You may only have one chance to step in and help.
* If you see any bullying, stop it right away, even if your child is the one doing the bullying.
Encourage your child to help others who need it. Don't bully your children or bully others in front of them. Many times kids who are bullied at home react by bullying other kids. If your children see you hit, ridicule, or gossip about someone else, they are also more likely to do so themselves.
Support bully prevention programs in your child's school. If your school doesn't have one, consider starting one with other parents, teachers, and concerned adults. For more information on bullying, visit http://www.stopbullying.gov
Source National Crime prevention Council