Bullying is prevalent in many different forms. Protecting yourself from bullying is your everyday sort of self-defense,
There are 4 different types of bullying:
Each one is powerful in experience and involves either direct or indirect contact. No longer can a child go home and disconnect from the world. Bullies can name-call and criticize from their digital devices all from the safety of their own homes.
Although bullying comes across many different mediums in the 21st Century, there are common ways in which you can teach your child to steer bullying attacks in the right direction.
At the end of the day, bullies act out of fear or uncertainty. They may fear that they are not loved or that they matter, and they often face uncertainties such as living situations and rocky relationships with their families.
Understanding the average bully will help your child to see them as human empowering them with the confidence to confront the attackers ending the incidents once-and-for-all.
This form of bullying involves someone intentionally seeking to damage your relationships or social status.
For instance, if a kid invites the entire class except for your child to a birthday, or if someone spreads a nasty rumor about you, these can be considered relational bullying.
Relational Bullying is more subtle than other forms. It does not involve physical touching and can even occur in different geographic locations. Many times it is done behind your back. This means that it’s also harder to prove than other forms.
It’s important that your child develop solid, healthy relationships. As always, keep an open line of communication with your child, and work with them in practicing ways to confront the bully.
Your child is no longer is safe from bullying after they leave school. They can now get bullied 24/7 online. Other kids may send mean texts, embarrassing pictures all while creating anonymous profile accounts that make the culprits extremely hard to catch.
You should know what sites and apps that your child is using. Obviously, teens are more likely to experience Cyberbullying, and a survey in 2015 determined that an estimate
16% of high school students were bullied
electronically in the 12 months prior.
Establish Rules about Technology Use. The following are 4 rules courtesy of
1. Be clear about what sites they can visit and what they are permitted to do when they’re online. Show them how to be safe online.
2. Help them be smart about what they post or say. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Once something is posted, it is out of their control whether someone else will forward it.
3. Encourage kids to think about who they want to see the information and pictures they post online. Should complete strangers see it? Real friends only? Friends of friends? Think about how people who aren’t friends could use it.
4. Tell kids to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities.
Kids will call each other names and can be very mean. Your child should respond calmly and in a constructive way something such as, “If you don’t have something nice to say,don’t say anything at all.”
Bullies look to get a rise or reaction out of others. You can choose to be a victim or to be empowered. They’ll stand down when the intended victim of the bullying speaks sternly, but calmly and with direct eye contact.
We must remember that bullies may have a difficult home life, insecure relationships and could have been the subject of bullying themselves. They usually don’t have the greatest confidence. Understanding this can assist a child in understanding why bullies exist, and give them the confidence to stand up to them.
It can be difficult to stand up to a bully requiring your child to be brave.
In our organization, we work to develop the child’s self-esteem and confidence both in their abilities and as a person so that they are able to face a threat. As it relates to bullying, physical altercations are not necessary. Escalating situations only serves to make the matters worse.
When a child learns a new skill, and gets better, their confidence will follow. Striking a heavy bag to make it swing or smash through a pine board, they are expressing their use of power that they have developed through training.
We teach the student to translate the empowerment that they feel from the board and bag into other barriers in their lives (e.g. the bully) and that is what helps to make them unstoppable. I am also glad to say that we have had zero problems with our own students becoming the bully for which we have zero tolerance.
There are different places where a child might get bullied. The first likely scenario is that they get physically bullied at school. This implies that someone pushes, hits, or touches them in some aggressive way.
While the school system cannot witness everything going on all of the time, there are systems and professionals in place that make it easier for the child to tell a teacher, dean, or principal nearby.
Bullies will often choose a place where teachers or cameras aren’t around. They can be very crafty in choosing a split second to puff out their chest bumping into your child every time they go to the water fountain, for instance. This can be difficult for school administrators to witness first-hand.
When this happens once, it can be frustrating for your child, but experiencing this everyday, it can take its toll on your child even to the point of changing their personality leading to poor performance in school, withdrawal from social settings and more.
Parents Magazine has some tips below on spotting the signs of bullying,
“Many children don't tell their parents when it happens,
so watch for possible warning signs like unexplained cuts,
scratches or bruises, missing or damaged clothes, or
frequent complaints of headaches and stomachaches.”
We recommend that the intended victim quickly counter, but not with punches or other forms of physical contact. Before the bully has a chance to say anything, they should counter with something that they can sternly, but calmly say using eye contact like, “Do not ever touch me again.” Period. Nothing else. The bully will try some sort of come-back, but let it go.
The child should always tell a teacher immediately. Don’t wait. Obviously, you want an open line of communication with your child as well. You don’t want to be the last person to know.
Most schools have strict anti-bullying policies and should take bullying seriously.
Bullying can take higher forms of physical contact such as hitting, slapping, or punching. We teach kids to block, evade, but never to strike in this situation.
Self-Defense implies that you are doing ONLY what is necessary to defend yourself. In the school setting, there is a zero tolerance for fighting. Even if one child started it, both will usually get disciplinary action.
Outside of the school setting, bullying situations can be more serious. Bullies are less concerned that they might get caught and look for the right moment to “corner” your child when there are no adults or witnesses around. While name calling is considered bullying, your child’s life isn’t in immediate danger. Getting pushed isn’t life-threatening.
When it comes to older kids, teens and adults, teach your child that if something doesn’t feel right that they should practice R.A.T.
Talk about instincts, and how it’s like the hairs on the back of your head stand up, or you feel an uneasiness in your gut. Anytime they feel this way, they should R.A.T.
You should know where and with whom your child is playing at all times. They should practice R.A.T when a stranger approaches them. Kids need to be able to deal with disagreements, poking and name-calling, but life safety should not be confused with “kids being kids”. They need to trust their gut instinct and know when they need your help so that they can stay safe.