Every child, no matter what their size, could potentially experience bullying in their life.
To determine if it’s truly bullying or just teasing ask these questions:
- Do they do it repeatedly on purpose?
- Do they say hurtful things to them when they can’t defend themselves?
- Does it make them uncomfortable to be around them all the time?
- Do they repeatedly take their things or often hit or bump into them?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among children where someone intentionally causes another person discomfort or injury. The behavior may be repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
One of the best ways to stop bullying is to be aware. Talk with your children regularly about their time at school. Ask about their friends, their classes and their day-to-day activities. Notice their body language when they answer and be aware of changes in mood or activities, such as depression, or wanting to stay home from school or games. Bullying can also lead to physical symptoms, such as abdominal pain, vomiting before school or bed wetting.
Bullying doesn’t always occur face-to-face. Cyber bullying, bullying through email, texting, social networks, chat rooms or online activities, has grown exponentially in the past several years. Today, more than 75 percent of students report some harassment by a cyber-bully.
The best way to help stop cyber bullying is to regularly check your child’s phone and text usage for messaging that is negative or violent. Keep all online interaction in public areas – no computers in the bedroom and talk to your children about online activities. Encourage your child to ignore the person who is bulling them. Tell them to stand up for themselves and not to bully the child back. They should also try to prevent a run-in with the bully at all costs.
The key answer to ending this cycle of bullying and violence is vigilance and communication. You must talk with your children, their teachers, their peers—be a part of their lives and activities so you can recognize signs of distress and act immediately.
Be proactive in being a part of your children's lives to keep them on a happy and healthy track to adulthood.
Share the comic books below with your kids to help them learn about bullying:
Be Strong Speak UP;
For Elementary Age Children
Proud to be Me