Recognizing Bullying Behavior
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between bullying and playful teasing. Teasing usually is between two or more people who are acting in a friendly way that appears to be fun for ALL of the people involved. Teasing is done between all parties equally. It never involves physical or emotional abuse. On the other hand, bullying consists of unwanted or aggressive behavior. The act of bullying is defined by three main factors:
1) There must be intent by the bully to cause harm to the victim.
2) The behavior is repeated over time. We all get a little angry at times, but if someone is targeting someone else then it could be bullying.
3) There exists an imbalance of power between the bully and the bullied. Often bullies are stronger than their victims, or they perhaps hold a higher status among their peers or have access to some kind of embarrassing information. In this way, standing up to bullies can be difficult.
What to Do if My Child is Being Bullied
If your child is being bullied there are things you can do to help both at home and at school. How you respond can make a great impact.
Help at Home:
Not every problem that happens at school is bullying, but we understand that as a parent you are concerned whenever something negative happens with your child.
Eight Ways to Banish Bullying
Help at School:
Parents are often reluctant to report bullying to school officials, but bullying may not stop without the help of adults.
- Keep your emotions in check. Give factual information about your child’s experience of being bullied including who, what, when, where, and how.
- Emphasize that you want to work with the staff at school to find a solution to stop the bullying, for the sake of your child as well as other students.
- Do not contact the parents of the student(s) who bullied your child. This is usually a parent’s first response, but sometimes it makes matters worse.
- Talk regularly with your child and with school staff to see whether the bullying has stopped. It is important to have a cooperative relationship between home and school.
Cyber bullying is the use of the Internet, cell phones, and other electronic devices/technology to deliberately harm, hurt or bully other people. Cyber bullies are often anonymous. They are hard to find and can bully their victim(s) anywhere, at any time and at any place.