According to a recent USA TODAY survey, one third of Americans are bullies or bullied at some point in school. In addition bullying these days is most often done in groups and through the Internet, which makes looking away much harder.
Why would a child bully? Why would a child get bullied? Behaviors are learned, which means parents and teachers have to teach intolerance. We have to have ZERO TOLERANCE for mean behavior toward other children, or anyone for that matter, from a very early age. I remember when I brought home my baby girl and my 2 year old daughter said, “I don’t like the baby”. I answered, “yes you do, you love her”, and I made room on the other knee for the two of them to fit. It’s easy for a child to bully out of jealousy. As parents and teachers, we have to look out for those cues. Stop the bullying and understand the reasoning to prevent it again in the future. ZERO TOLERANCE. It starts at home and shows up at school starting in the early grades. Kids will fight, but they have to fight fairly and appropriately. No demeaning behaviors. Too many children are committing SUICIDE as a result of this bullying! Children are now getting taunted on the “virtual playground” to such a harsh extreme that they are choosing to end their life. We have to step in!
What about teaching protection of those being bullied? Yes, we have to teach that too! That can start at home. Teach your child to stand up for the one being bullied. Explain to your kids that if they see bullying in school, on the playground or even on Facebook, to tell an adult. As professionals (parents, teachers, principals), we also have to diagnose the bullies or bullied kids, and make sure they are getting the appropriate intervention they need that is causing them to aggressively taunt someone or to get teased themselves. Maybe that “nerd” has Asperger’s syndrome or depression? Maybe that “bully” has Oppositional Defiant Disorder or is being abused at home? Taking care of our youth is not an easy task but someone has to do it!
If your child is being bullied or is possibly a bully him/herself, it may not be your fault, but it is your duty to step in and intervene!
What types of Behavior do you consider Bullying ones?
What actions are you going to take to help our youth? We look forward to hearing your solutions!