BULLYING!!!The New Trend in Children’s Behaviour

The following article is from informationan interview between Angie Quinn and Ginger Gorman shared on ABC RADIO Far North on Wednesday Feb 17th, 2010. (this article is relative to school age children)

What is Bullying?

Bullying is when an individual/group (with seemingly more power than you) repeatedly and intentionally uses negative words or actions agains you shich causes distress or risk to your physical, social and mental well-being.

What’s in it for the Bully

  • It’s an opportunity to gain attention (destructive/negative attention is often better than none)
  • It’s a Power struggle – A need to feel important
  • When a bully feels like he/she has the power the ego takes over and begins to feed the addiction
  • Often bullying at school can be acted out behaviour which is cultivated at home due to unattended to sibling rivalry
  • children who are prone to being angry can at times go looking for a reaction or some form of action to shift that anger and tension within them
  • Bullies often think they are funny – cruel ridicule is often seen as humour on tv (eg. The Simpsons)
  • Bullies in most cases have low self esteem but a tough protected exterior. In projecting out they are attracted to other more sensitive children who also lack self esteem or confidence.
  • Bullies always go for the weakest link 

Types of Bullying

  • Verbal threats, criticism, sarcasm
  • Spreading nasty rumours/notes
  • Facial gestures
  • Physical contact
  • Cyber bullying and Texting
  • Rejection and social isolation

Reasons why children Bully

  • Appearance – hair, clothing, visible differences, weight, glasses, freckles, braces
  • Abilities – physical (athletic) and intellectual (academic)
  • Identity – gender, race, religion and culture
  • Behaviour
  • Opinions
  • Friends

Tell Tale Signs your Child is being Bullied

  • Avoid school
  • Withdrawn behaviour
  • Change in appetite
  • Physical injury – bruising
  • Bed wetting
  • Moody outbursts
  • Damaged property/clothing
  • Change in body language (fearful posture)
  • Not wanting to participate in lunch time play or extra curricular activities

Strategies to Cope (if you are the victim)

  • TELL SOMEONE – This can stop the bullying, alternatively it will continue
  • Ignore and Walk away – bullies want a reaction and will get bored if you dont feed them (Teach your children – Don’t Feed the Animals)
  • Use their language back to them in a really nice way (eg. “You look stupid” said the bully. You say “Yeah, you look stupid too, yayee!!!NB. Say it in a laughing tone. 

             (OTHER EG. 1. “so”   2. “Your point is”   3. “I’m sorry you are hurting so much you have to pick on me” (this one really throws them – they go “HUH”)

  • Visualize that you are in a bubble and everything the bully says bounces right off you and back to them OR use a pretend bat and bat it back to them with your hand (do not make contact)
  • Monitor your internal self-talk and what you believe about what the bully is saying. Most of what they say IS NOT TRUE FOR YOU.
  • Journal your thoughts – ASK YOURSELF – “is this really the truth or just one persons opinion”
  • Stand Strong and keep your posture upright
  • Engage in activities that build self confidence and self esteem (martial arts, team sports)
  • Hang out with people who like you instead. Often we want to be part of the popular group and this can at times be a toxic environment to be in.

Adults have a responsibility to children within our community to support them and their right to feel safe :-

  • Teach them emotional resilience tools and how to deal with conflict resolution responsibly and sensibly
  • Teach them how to accept peoples differences
  • Teach children about honesty, fairness and how to be sensitive to others needs and feelings 
  • Role Model good behaviour – Children will do as you do before they do as you say
  • Teach children they have a ‘social responsibility’ to understand it is important and beneficial to be a good citizen and build a world with fairness and justice for all where we all feel safe.

Comments are closed.