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Friday, March 9, 2007

How to deter bullies

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently stated that 1/3 of students in the United States experience bullying either as a target or a perpetrator. It is estimated that bullying and violence cause 160,000 to miss one or more days of school each month.

What is the definition of bullying?
*Bullying is an aggressive behavior in which a child is targeted by repeated negative actions.
*This can include name-calling, making faces, obscene gesturing, malicious teasing, threats, rumors, physical hitting, kicking, pushing, or choking. *Victims usually feel they don’t have the power or strength to defend themselves.

What are some typical characteristics of bullies?
*They can be boys or girls… gender is not an issue, but boys typically are more physical and girls tend to be more likely to use rejection and slander.
*Bullies usually pick on others out of frustration with their own lives.
*Bullies tease their peers as a means of going along with the crowd
*Bullies sometimes suffer from depression and generally come from homes with harsh discipline and inconsistent discipline.

What can parents do to help stop bullying?
*Start early. Communication is the key – the first step is teaching your child to respect others .
*Speak out. Extinguish teasing when you see it and explain how this is inappropriate behavior.
*Teach your children how to be assertive. Encourage your children to say no when they feel uncomfortable or pressured. Teach them how to stand up for themselves without fighting or violence. Also teach them how to walk away in dangerous situations.
*Teach your children to take action if they see bullying. Teach your children to speak out if they witness bullying or to inform a teacher.
*Communicate rules and consequences. Send out a clear message that you expect your school to have consequences for bullying behaviors.
*Work with your PTA or mental health associations to develop prevention programs for school children.


Anonymous said...

Great tips for helping with my children. Thank you so much for the suggestions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice. But, I have always taught my kids that sometimes you have to stick up for yourself to get rid of the problem.
If talking to a parent or teacher is not resolving the issue then physically defend yourself as a last resort.

joymiller said...

Great advice. It's important that our children feel empowered to maintain "respectful/healthy" self-care.

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