Know the facts about bullying, even if you don’t think bullying affects your child.
Unfortunately, teasing is often part of growing up — almost every child experiences it. But it isn’t always as innocuous as it seems. Words can cause pain. Teasing becomes bullying when it is repetitive or when there is a conscious intent to hurt another child. It can be verbal bullying (making threats, name-calling), psychological bullying (excluding children, spreading rumors), or physical bullying (hitting, pushing, taking a child’s possessions).
How Bullying Starts
Bullying behavior is prevalent throughout the world and it cuts across socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and cultural lines. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims. Bullying can begin as early as preschool and intensify during transitional stages, such as starting school in 1st grade or going into middle school.
Victims of bullying are often shy and tend to be physically weaker than their peers. They may also have low self-esteem and poor social skills, which makes it hard for them to stand up for themselves. Bullies consider these children safe targets because they usually don’t retaliate.
Effects of Bullying
If your child is the victim of bullying, he may suffer physically and emotionally, and his schoolwork will likely show it. Grades drop because, instead of listening to the teacher, kids are wondering what they did wrong and whether anyone will sit with them at lunch. If bullying persists, they may be afraid to go to school. Problems with low self-esteem and depression can last into adulthood and interfere with personal and professional lives.
(The above info is being shared here from this article: http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/bullying on Bullying)
Often people have the idea that “bullying” is something which only occurs amongst some children until eventually they grow out of this behavior. Unfortunately – this isn’t always true. Adults can be just as capable of employing bullying tactics as any young child or teenager.
#1 – Remember that this is not your fault.
#2 – See if killing them with kindness helps. This doesn’t always work. But in circumstances when you’ve not long known the bully (such as if for example you’ve just been introduced to them at work) it can.
#3 – Try assertive responses against the bully .
#4 – If all else fails, consider enlisting somebody’s help.
Assertive behavior can be very effective if used in the early stages of bullying. However, if the bullying has already been going on for a long time it might not have the desired effects. Sometimes the only thing to do in a bullying situation is to walk away.
For more information about adult bullying and for resources, there is a great book titled: Adult bullying: perpetrators and victims, By Peter Randall.