As the second article in my Anti-Bulling series i would like to focus on the main points of bullying and the signs to look for if your child is being bullied or is a bully.
Bullying has been focused into three main points. These points are: Imbalance of Power, Intent to Cause Harm and Repetition.
Imbalance of Power: People who bully use their power to control or harm and people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves and continue to be pushed around as they mature into adulthood. This imbalance of power can end up in abusive relationships, demeaning situations and being taken advantage of for the victims entire life.
Intent to Do Harm: Actions done by accident are not bullying. Bullies have the main goal of causing harm, humiliation and to gain control. This is where adults, kids and any other bystanders need to step in and correct the situation.
Repetition: Incidents of bullying happen to the same person over and over by the same person or group of people. It is important to break the cycle and show the bullying party that this is not going to be tolerated and show the victim that they too are important and you care.
There are many warning signs that someone is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems, as well. If you are a parent or educator, you may want to learn more about talking to someone about bullying.
Signs of a child who is being bullied are: They comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings, Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry, Has unexplained injuries, Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick to avoid school, Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams, Has changes in eating habits, Hurts themselves, Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch, Runs away from home, Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends or doing things they used to enjoy, Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers, Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school; Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home, Talks about suicide, Feels helpless, Often feels like they are not good enough, Blames themselves for their problems, Suddenly has fewer friends, Avoids certain places, and Acts differently than usual.
Signs that your child may be a bully are: They become violent with others, Gets into physical or verbal fights with others, Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot, Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained, Is quick to blame others, Will not accept responsibility for their actions, Has friends who bully others or feels the need to win or be best at everything.
Now that you know what to look for, it is important to know how to deal with the information you have collected. Check back next week for my next article, “How to deal with bullying.” In the meantime if you need more information or would like to do some research on your own, visit: www.stopbullyingnow.com , stopbullying.gov, kidpower.org or talk to you guidance councilor, friend or family members!