Bullies are a huge problem at school. Thousands of children are afraid to get on the bus or walk to school every single day. There are many forms of bullying and all of them may not be noticeable to parents, teachers and other adults.
There are many types of bullies. Some bullies attack their victims physically. This can go from simple shoving and tormenting all the way to sexual abuse. Some bullies use psychological control and verbal abuse to torment their targets.
Gossiping can be a form of bullying. Cyberbullying is the practice of insults and abuse being traded in emails, texts, and on web sites.
Bullies intimidate their victims into silence. They are afraid to report the problem for many reasons. Most children have been told all their life not to be a tattle tail. Bullies threaten more severe consequences if the child reports the problem.
What should we be teaching children about bullying? First thing is that if someone witnesses a bullying situation, walk away and go to an authority. Make them aware there is a problem. It is much easier to do, if the bully is picking one someone else.
~ Keep the anger under wraps
The pay off for the bully to to see the victim respond to their taunts. They thrive on the victim losing their control and letting their emotions take over. Leave the situation in silence and work out the anger through other outlets. Run around the track a few times. Write in a personal journal that is safe in the home. Don’t give the bully the satisfaction of witnessing anger.
~ Stand tall and walk away
Ignore the situation and walk away in a strong confident manner. If the bully keeps following and taunting, keep walking. A child often reach safe territory just by walking away with confidence.
~ Stay with a crowd
Bullies like an audience, but one of their own choosing. So pick a different group of people and stick close together. This can happen naturally without drawing undue attention.
~ Talk it out with the right people
A guidance counselor, a teacher, a coach, a parent or extended family may all be available choices. Try to not gossip, but give them the facts and ask how they can help. They may be able to help one find different places to grow confidence and cultivate true friendships.
Often times children who are victims of bullies have life long emotional scars. Everyone can do their part by simply refusing to participate and stopping it when it happens.