Bullying Part #1 of 4
Bullying has become a huge part of our life during the last 20 years. Bullying itself has been around forever, we all have memories and/or scars from our school days, but from the start of the “electronic age” , it has become the #1 topic with many parents, and almost all school administrations.
In my day, we dealt with older, bigger kids pushing around younger, smaller kids. Lunch money or bicycle’s were taken, until a larger brother or the smaller child stood up for themselves, settled the problem on the playground, and it was over because the bully never wanted to be held accountable.
As for the girls, usually, they were ostracized from one group of girls or another, until they found their comfortable/proper social peer groups. Of course these are very wide generalizations, of a long ago time period.
Today, our kids, of every age are dealing with much more horrific and vicious bullying attacks. The popular forms of attack are physical, verbal, emotional, sexual and electronic. The newspapers are full of stories about the effects of these attacks, which include insomnia, anxiety, depression and eating disorders for the boys and girls.
Many kids and teachers have been stalked and ridiculed on-line, had their credit destroyed and had their pictures and personal information posted in pornographic websites. And now the kids being bullied are doing the same things electronically to their attackers, to get even. Sometimes, after they have been isolated long enough they are getting their revenge with guns, knives and explosives.
Although we will never stop all the bullying, or all the retaliation, there are a number of things , we as parents can do to stop the cycle. We are going to spend the next 4 weeks discussing these things so you, as a parent, can develop a strategy on how to deal with this very serious problem, and also keep your kids safe.
Cyberbullying/Stalking Part #2 of 4
Cyberbullying is the fastest growing form of harassment in today’s world. It’s almost anonymous and it’s the hardest to defend against. The best way to combat these attacks, is by documentation and patience, and try to remember ( although it will be very hard) they are only words. If you and your parents follow these simple rules, you will eventually catch your cyberbully/stalker, and then the courts will deal with the problem.
Do the following:
- save every email, text message, cell phone call/message and home answering machine message you receive – the RCMP have amazing tracing capabilities,
- *69 every abusive call you receive and record the number for the RCMP document the date and time every abusive act is done to you, so the RCMP can look for patterns
- contact your internet provider, tell them your problem, ask for their help and they will start you on your journey to get justice
- if they post anonymous garbage about you on a web site, or chat room, document it, then contact that site, and ask what their cyberbullying/ stalking policy is, and let them know politely, you will be turning over your documentation to the RCMP
- when you have all your documentation together, contact the RCMP immediately
For really outstanding information about this plague, or more tips on how to deal with it, check out www.cyberbullying.ca , or www.bullying.co.uk ! These are outstanding sites, I highly recommend them.
Physical Bullying part #3 of 4
We have all seen, or been a part of Physical Bullying, because it’s the most easily recognized and most common form of bullying, whether it’s at school, work or the neighborhood. Physical bullying includes kicking, hair pulling, punching, tripping and damaging or theft of property.
Many times, Physical bullying goes farther than the bully intended, and the victim is seriously hurt, and in Canada and the United States there are many documented cases of the victim being killed / murdered. This usually happens as the aggressor gets older, more powerful and needs a bigger “high” or ” feeling of control” from their actions.
A recent study showed 50 to 75% of students have been bullied in some form, during the last 3 years. Action must be taken against this terrorizing abuse, so we can stop losing kids.
If you see it happening:
- call a teacher, parent or adult immediately, and from a safe distance,
- yell for help until the bully stops or a adult arrives.
- Tell your parents and ask them to call your school.
- Politely insist they get involved.
- Does your school have a bullying policy? Is it being enforced? Does it need to be updated? Do you feel it’s effective? If you have answered no to any of the above questions, ask your parents to have a meeting with the Principal immediately.
- If your parents are busy, get a bunch of students together, and politely ask your Principal for a meeting to discuss this very dangerous issue.
Remember, if you are ever bullied off school property, tell your parents immediately, and seriously consider getting the RCMP involved.
Verbal/Emotional Bullying part 4 of 4
Verbal and emotional bullying can be seen on any playground in Canada or the United States. Most of the time, this is the type of bullying we see coming from females/girls. While the boys usually resort to Physical torment, girls resort to gossip, rumors and innuendo. Usually , physical torment will be over quickly. Verbal and emotional torment last much longer. There are literally thousands of documented cases of young girls developing eating disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, because of these attacks.
Parents need to be on watch for the signs that indicate your child is being tormented. The most common signs are:
- withdrawal from family and friends,
- an increase in sleeping,
- stomach ache’s,
- an increase in sick day’s from school,
- lack of appetite or
- an emotional out burst with out reason.
- Has your daughter radically changed her appearance, or doesn’t care about it anymore? Did you know, 81% of all young girls who start cutting/mutilating themselves, did so because of being bullied at school and then feeling isolated?
If you notice any of the above signs of bullying talk to your child, your principal, or other parents. Do something, whatever you do will help stop the bullying cycle that may be affecting other children too.
Conclusion of the Bullying Series
I have received many compliments and even more questions from parents during the last month, while we have been doing our series on bullying tips. I still find it amazing , just how many kids and parents are dealing with this epidemic on a daily basis.
- Always remember, we will try to answer any questions you may have, at anytime , here at Street Smart Kidz. Whether it be child or parent, you don’t have to go through it alone.
- Remember, every school should have a “bullying” policy, and if they don’t, get involved with other parents and teachers and write one. Remember, the RCMP are there to help, give advice and tell you where to find the resources you need.
- Also, the internet is a great tool to use, and you can find outstanding sites on this topic, as well as the one’s we recommended while doing this series.
- Your family doctor is a wonderful resource as well.
- Most importantly, talk to your children constantly about this issue.
- Observe their habits and mood swings. No one knows them better than you, so you are the first defense against bullying.
Many of the kids who emailed us questions, hadn’t talked to their parents yet about what they were going through. I know we are all very busy, but we have to make time for this! Good Luck!