Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bullying At School

Bullying at School - Empower Yourself to Protect Your Child Against School Bullying
Certainly as parents we all realize bullying at school is on the rise. School bullying statistics for some countries of the world are now citing figures as high as 25%, or one in four children attending school are either bully victims, are engaged in bullying themselves, or are both! As a parent do you even know what signs or symptoms to look for when dealing with bullying at school or how to support a victim of school bullying?
7 Key Indicators Of Bullying At School
1. Child is afraid to go to school.
2. Child often feels ill on school mornings.
3. Child is skipping school or classes.
4. Grades in school suddenly dropping.

Positive Support For Victims Of School Bullying
1. Comfort the child. Take any necessary steps to ensure your child is kept safe, including contacting the school and enlisting help from teachers and support staff.
2. Discuss effective bullying responses with your child to help them deal with face to face situations with the bully. These responses may differ depending on whether you are dealing with bullying at the middle school or bullying in high school.
Negative Support For Victims Of School Bullying
Whether your child is a victim of bullying at the middle school or bullying in high school, the following "pitfalls" or negative support must be avoided.
1. Never try and justify the bully's behavior! Let you child know that any bullying is wrong and no one deserves to be bullied!
2. Very important that you resist the urge to try and solve the problem for your child, unless they are in serious physical danger, as this tells the bully that your child is indeed "helpless".
3. Telling the child to simply avoid the bully will not solve the problem and generally only works for a short time.
4. Never, never tell your child to fight back! 5. Don't confront the bully or the bully's parents alone. Parents learning how to recognize the signs of bullying at school, and supporting a child victimized by school bullying, are important first steps, but not the end of the problem. Teaching the targeted child effective ways to empower themselves to deal with bullying at the middle school, or bullying in high school, is giving them a vital personal skill set necessary to cope with this worsening social problem in our school system.
Bullying is a serious and persistent issue in our schools today. Research shows that at least 30% of children are involved in school bullying as bully, victim, or bystander. While some schools are becoming more sensitive to the problem and are developing programs to target bullying, it is important for parents to understand some of the dynamics of bullying and to learn ways to help their children cope. In many situations, the bullied child will have the best outcome if given the opportunity to be actively involved in the solution.
Listening helps. The empathy can help reduce the pain and frustration a child that is being bullied may feel. How is your child's behavior affected? If your child is afraid to go to school, can't sleep or concentrate, is complaining of feeling sick or regressing, the situation is serious and contacting the school for help is suggested. Younger children may have more trouble articulating their struggles with a bully, so it may be useful to speak with a teacher or counselor to help assess what is occurring in the school.
Try to understand why your child is being teased. Speak with your child about her response to the bullying. Help your child see that the more a bully sees her getting upset, the more enjoyable the experience will be for the bully and the bully likely will continue.
Even if your child is not being bullied, the chances are he has witnessed bullying. Speak with your child about their experiences. Discussion and role play can help prepare your child for future encounters as either a victim or a bystander.
Empower your child. Develop a plan of action with your child that will prepare him or her for a possible encounter with a bully. In some cases a child will respond aggressively to a bully's taunts, risking getting himself hurt and in trouble with the school. Parents can work with their children to identify their "danger zones" or things a bully might say that is likely to set them off. Many bullying situations are verbal and children can become less sensitive to name calling by discussing and/or playing interchanges out in a safe setting with a parent or therapist.
Help your child develop methods to remain calm and shift the power balance. Review specific strategies, so that when he is confronted by a bully your child will be more prepared. I have also found it useful to have a child role play both the victim and the bully. It can help the child to pretend to think and act like the bully does. Children can also practice stock phrases, expressions, or moving away, so they will be prepared when a bully confronts them.
Recognize common traits of bullies. Bullies like to dominate others. Bullies refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Bullies crave attention and often cannot consider the consequences of their actions. This stands for Creating a Peaceful School Learning Environment. All children and adults in a given school participate, helping to reduce stigma. The aim of CAPSLE is to change the way bullying is viewed by the entire school system. Some programs target only the bullies and the victims. You can speak with school officials, teachers or counselors and ask about the school's bullying policies and which interventions they use.
While many bullying incidents are verbal, there are times when the confrontation becomes physical. There is nothing that justifies physical violence toward your child. If you have a child who attends elementary, middle, or high school, chances are they have been witness to bullying tactics perpetrated on younger and more vulnerable students. Anti bullying in schools should become a key component of the overall School Safety Plan and developed within a Comprehensive Education Plan, which allows for monies to be allocated for new programs during the school year.
In addition, utilizing programs which outline bullying and how to deal with the problem should be part of teachers' workshops, along with the anti bullying in schools campaigns which can incorporate anti bullying posters, anti bullying wristbands, and programs for other staff members so that everyone in the school is knowledgeable about bullying and its underlying signs.
Bullying in schools is occurring around this country and overseas. Bullying isn't just confined to schools; it occurs in workplaces as well. However, those who suffer most from bullying are children. They skip school, cut out early, cannot focus on their school work, and are fearful every time they leave school at the end of the day. Anti bullying in schools must become a priority, not a footnote to a long list of rules and regulations deemed appropriate by school officials.


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