Bullies can make life miserable
Bullies make life miserable for many children There's nothing new about bullies. Most people remember some experience with a bully while growing up. In a study of 7-to-12-year-olds in rural Minnesota, 69 percent said there were bullies in their town.
Bullies make life miserable for many children There's nothing new about bullies. Most people remember some experience with a bully while growing up.
In a study of 7-to-12-year-olds in rural Minnesota, 69 percent said there were bullies in their town. More than 50 percent said they had been picked on by these bullies.
What is bullying? Bullying includes swearing, teasing, throwing things, knocking people down, name-calling and beating. Bullying is most frequent in grades 2 through 6 and most serious in grades 7 through 9. It usually tapers off after that.
How to deal with bullies
- Since bullies love an audience, tell your child that by saying, "That's not fun," a bystander can sometimes stop a bully's activities.
- Pay attention to your child's reports of violence.
- Watch for signs that a child is being victimized--such as torn clothing, bruises, moodiness, withdrawn behavior, a drop in grades, lack of friends, loss of appetite, or low self-esteem.
- Be suspicious if your child needs extra school supplies or extra lunch money.
- Take an active role in your child's school.
- Report all incidents to school authorities and insist that they ensure your child's safety. Tell your children to report threats to authorities.
- Record bullying incidents.
- Work on building your child's self-esteem.
- Encourage assertive, not aggressive, response to bullies. With bullies, your child should leave the scene without violence. Do not tell children to strike back.
- Eliminate violent toys, games, TV shows and movies as much as possible. Demonstrate cooperative ways to solve problems.
- Avoid physical punishment because it sends the message that using physical force is OK.
What to do if your child is a bully
- Teach your child to recognize and express emotions nonviolently.
- Emphasize talking out the issue rather than hitting.
- Model the kind of behavior you want children to exhibit. Be clear that aggressive behavior will not be tolerated.
- Promote empathy by pointing out the consequences for others, of the child's verbal and physical actions.
Bullying can be eliminated if adults and children become partners in this crusade against cruelty. For more information access other INFO-U messages or contact the Minnesota Parent Center at 1-800-537-2237.
Reference: Ronald Pitzer, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Extension Service & College of Human Ecology.