Bullying hurts. It can scar a child for a lifetime, affect relationships with others and destroy
his or her view of themselves.
As a parent it is extremely stressful to find that your child is being bullied. Our role as a parent is to protect, nourish and ultimately to release our children as young adults into society, where they make a positive impact. Bullying has no part to play in this scenario.
Bullying is an action where everyone involved becomes less. The target of the bully and those who are forced to stand by and witness the incident feel helpless and powerless. The bullied child can feel the situation is hopeless and that they are useless and even worthless as individuals. If the bully becomes entrenched in his or her behaviour they are less able to develop healthy relationships, will lack the ability to feel empathy for their targets, and can grow up to bully in adult relationships such as a marriage or work environment. They may even move on to criminal behaviour. A high percentage of inmates in jails were bullies on the school ground.
Bullying is as destructive to the bully as it is to the person being bullied. Although it is very hard to pin down and exact number, about 35% of children say they have been bullied in school. No matter the number, no child should be bullied.
To get a better picture of what bullying IS and what it ISN'T we need to define it. As much as some parents may disagree, not all rough and tumble situations are bullying. Spontaneous aggression is not bullying. An accepted description put forward by Dan Olweus in his book "Bullying at School", published by Blackwell Publishing in 1993, describes bullying as follows: "A student or pupil is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students."
To learn more about bullying order my book for parents entitled Bullying: A Parent's Primer. I discuss:
- the characteristics of a bully and their target
- the possible causes of bullying
- the types of bullying
- the steps a parent can take if a bully targets their child
- and the role of schools in solving bullying problems.
Also discussed is what a parent can do if their child is accused of being a bully.
Bullying: A Parent's Primer is a 19 page booklet packed with information and tips on bullying. It comes as a download in pdf format. There is no shipping cost since you download it to your computer.