How to Deal with Bullying
Unfortunately, bullying has and is becoming a bigger problem for the youth of today. It comes in many forms: physical, verbal, and cyber. Whatever the form, bullying is defined as, “Unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power. The aggressive behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC provides the following bulleted list to further explain types of bullying:
- Bullying can be physical, involving hitting or attacking another person or their possessions.
- Bullying also can come in the form of verbal aggression, including teasing, name calling, verbal threats, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, and threatening to cause harm.
- Bullying can also come in the form of social aggression, which involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying can include leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, or embarrassing someone in public.
- Bullying can be in person, but it can also come in the form of electronic aggression (e.g.,, cyberbullying using the Internet or cell phones). It can include threatening, embarrassing, or insulting emails, texts, or social media posts.
Effects of bullying on the youth dealing with the hassle include depression, loneliness, and low self-esteem, to name a few. All of these can leave a lasting impression on children being bullied and even the children witnessing the bullying of others.
StopBullying.com offers some tips for children being bullied:
There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
- Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
- If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
- Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
- Stay away from places where bullying happens.
- Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
As a parent, you are your child’s biggest advocate. If you don’t take the time to encourage and build their self-esteem, then they could be a target for bullies looking for kids who lack the confidence to fight back. Many bullies choose to heckle others as a power move to make themselves feel bigger and in control. Build your child’s confidence to rule them out as a potential target for bullies. If they know you believe in them, they will believe in themselves too.