Over the past few years, more and more children are being bullied and/or are bullies. It has become so prevalent that school districts have found the need to hire Bullying Specialists to combat the negative effects of bullying on our children.
We see bullying that turns deadly on the news and some of the most viewed you tube videos are children fighting, a bunch of children beating up on one child and children standing around taping/making a video of a fight with their phone, while a child is getting beat up or fighting.
American schools have approximately 2.7 million victims of bullying
Research shows that 15% of school absenteeism is directly related to being bullied at school
American schools harbor 2.1 million bullies
Research shows that 1 in 7 students is a bully
It was once believed that bullies were insecure frightened children who made themselves feel better by intimidating and/or hurting other children
More recently violent, abusive and/or neglectful homes are associated with bullying behavior
It is believed that children who are made to feel helpless or small at home, need to feel in control outside the home which causes children to bully others
For some parents it is hard to believe that the child they are raising could ever be a bully. We don’t always realize how our actions, as parents, can effect a child’s decision making when we are not around them. It has been found that some of the meanest, most self destructive children were the ones whose behaviors reflected neglectful, overbearing parents or abuse from home.
As parents, we must ensure that we talk to our children daily about who they connect with in school, if someone is bothering them or if they are being mean to others. If a child has gotten in trouble for bullying, parents need to seek advice from the school and/or professionals about next steps because bullies are many times very angry children who are crying for help in an area of their life.
If your child is being bullied do not assume that your child is “gonna be fine since we were all bullied”. Due to the rampant use of social media to bully others, and the access that children have to each other with cell phones and the internet, we must ensure that our children feel safe and comfortable being who they are and are feeling threatened in any way.
Bullying is an epidemic that affects us all. As parents, we must ensure that they are teaching intolerance for bullying, being mean to others. We have to teach and practice integrity, empathy and making sure we know our children enough so we can tell when something is wrong. When children struggle, socially or otherwise, it can have lasting effects on them into their adult years. When children struggle for too long, without proper intervention, they can become angry, self-destructive and less trusting of parents who should be protecting them. As parents, we have to pay attention when our children are struggling in all areas of their lives, so we can get them help and resources immediately.