BE A FRIEND DON’T BE A BULLY
At the end of this past school year I noticed the above electric sign outside of a local elementary school.
Now that school is back in session, it seems like the right time to address the issue of bullying and the impact on our children in the West Los Angeles Area. First I want to identify the role of the “bully” and the role of the “target”, then examine the issue in the home, school..Finally, how to read and react to the signals and warning signs.
A bully is defined as a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller, weaker people. This can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed towards particular victims on the grounds of race, religion, gender, appearance, sexuality or ability.
Indirect bullying can be the silent treatment or arguing others into submission. Gossiping, lies, rumors, staring, and giggling behind someones back can also be devastating. It’s safe to say that males tend to be more physically aggressive and females generally favor exclusion and mockery.
A victim is known as a “target”. Targets of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Targets can suffer from lonliness, depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. The effects on the target can be very serious and fatal.
Cyber bullying is dangerous and is a form of direct bullying.. It can go undetected because of the lack of parental/authoritative supervision. It is bullying through the use of technology. Cell phones, video cameras, all kinds of apps potentially create harassment, even to teachers. Bullies can pose as someone else, therefore is the most anonymous form of bullying. This abuse includes e-mail, instant messaging, text messaging, websites, and social networking sites.
IS THERE A BULLY IN YOUR HOME? Parents take note:
Research shows that adults who bully have personalities that are authoritarian and a need to control and dominate.others. There is a risk factor that a bully is reflecting the environment of his or her home, repeating the model learned in the home.
l. Carefully look at what you model to your child and how you treat others
2. How do siblings treat each other.
3. Notice how your child relates to you and others
4. Is anyone scared of each other, if so, why. Are any of you taking out painful feelings on others.
5. Is there name calling in your home, physical punishment, teasing
6. Are there off-hand mean comments by anyone in the family
7. Do you notice anyone displaying envy and resentment.in the family.
can use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or boost self esteem by demeaning others. Thusly, feeling empowered.
8. Is anyone in the family forcing their way aggressively or by intimidation.
9. Is there respect for the right reasons such as kindness, moral judgement and fairness.
10. Are family member’s listened to and emotionally supported.
11. Who do member’s of the family side with- top-dog or under-dog.
12. Do you as a parent teach your child to respect that everyone is different and that’s a good thing or do you make snide comments about them or others. Do you use humor at someone else’s expense.