Anti-Bullying – 3 Steps
There is no single solution to stop bullying; it’s an ongoing issues that occurs everyday at schools across the country. However, there are 3 steps to deal with bullying:
1. Understand the many forms of bullying
3. Responding to bullying
1. DEFINITION OF BULLYING
- Bullying is an intentionally harmful behaviour. It involves the use of verbal taunts, name calling, physical injury, damage to property, rumour spreading, shunning or ridicule. It is repetitive and persistent. Bullying causes the victim to feel helpless and unable to put a stop to it. Victims are left feeling scared, lonely and their self-esteem is significantly harmed.
TYPES OF BULLYING
- Race, Religion, Culture: These are the most common forms of bullying. The bully focuses on the differences of it’s target, aiming to degrade based on physical appearances and beliefs.
- Homophobic Bullying: Bullying motivated by prejudice against a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
- Cyberbullying: It’s usually done via mobile phones and the internet, and it’s an extension of face-to-face bullying. Cyberbullying invades the home and personal space, messages are electronically circulated, the size of the audience is larger, and the bully can be anonymous. (Defined by Digizen.org)
- Special Educational Needs & Disabilities: Intentionally harmful behaviours against children who have learning difficulties or disabilities that make it harder for them to learn or access education than most children of the same age.
Preventative work has to be ongoing. For Anti-Bullying tactics to work, prevention involves efforts from the whole school community by setting standards of appropriate behaviour on how to treat others.
Kids Now is an after school program that creates an atmosphere of respect and acceptance. Through fun and dynamic exercises, kids learn the value of diversity, tolerance and how to deal with conflict when it arises. Speaking about bullying, understanding it and encouraging positive attitudes is the way to stop bullying from happening.
3. RESPONDING TO BULLYING
As parents and educators, it’s important to provide support to a child that is being bullied. Listening to them and helping them deal with the stress that comes from being bullied is vital. The Kids Now program teaches kids how to resolve conflict and ways to release stress.
As teachers, mentors and parents we must record and investigate the incident. Schools have policies and sanctions that are to be applied when bullying occurs. No act of bullying should be overlooked.
Always make sure to listen to your children and pay attention to their behaviours. Kids may feel ashamed to tell adults about incidents that happen at school, but there are always signs that you can tell something isn’t right:
- Kids act withdrawn, fearful, or anxious
- Behaviours fluctuate easily and are very extreme. They can go from very passive to very aggressive.
- Kids usually show signs of their feelings to friends via social media. Monitor their Facebook page, twitter or Tumblr.
For more information about bullying, read our blog