This blog provides an insight into bullying not only from the perspective of kids being bullied, but also from the perspective of bullies, finding the reasons why they bully and the possible solutions to correct their behavior.
Many parents don't think bullying is a big problem unless their kids reach their teenage.
But bullying is not restricted to teens, and some research shows that it has become common among kids as young as 3 years old.
Verbal harassment - calling by funny names, teasing.
physical harm - hitting, kicking, and biting.
social and emotional harm - intentionally excluding a child from a group repeatedly.
Negative effects on kids being bullied
Each day more than 160,000 kids stay at home from school because they fear being bullied, according to a survey by the National Education Association.
Negative effects include:
Poor school performance
Low self esteem
Aggression or violent behavior in retaliation
Steps to deal with bullying
Observe - for any signs that are bothering the child. We should take bullying seriously even if it's happening at a very low level. It might increase in no time, if left uncorrected.
Encourage - our child to talk to us openly about it even if it's a small thing, and the kid believes he can solve it on his own.
Confidence - Give them the confidence that we can prepare them for solving the problem on their own, and won't intervene unless imperative. Advice them to fight back, or walk away, or immediately inform teacher.
Talk to the Class Teacher - For smaller kids, this strategy works well. We need to be specific of what happened and who did it.
Contact bully's parents - This has to be done in a non-confrontational way. We've to be gentle while discussing the problem our kid is facing.
Bully act - A parent/a stuffed toy can act as a bully, and then we can teach our kids to bravely look straight into the eyes of bully and say loudly "Stop bothering me!", or "I'll not play with you if you act mean", or "I'll tell teacher that you're hitting me".
Why do kids become bullies
Preschoolers don't do it deliberately, they're just testing the boundaries of what's acceptable behavior for them.
But by Kindergarten, they're more aware of what they're doing and they choose their targets who are shy, sensitive, or smaller than them.
Here are the possible reasons:
They lack attention from parents at home, and they bully to grab everyone's attention.
Very often parents themselves are bullies, and the kids deem bullying as a normal behavior. They bully because they're being bullied.
Older siblings bully their younger ones, who in turn bully shy, weak or sensitive kids at school.
Their neighborhood friends are bullies.
Bullying makes them feel stronger or better than the kid they're bullying.
Bullying gives them a sense of being 'Cool" at school in front of other kids.
Sometimes, some kids just copy other bullies.
Being jealous of other kids also emanates bullying.
It's the effect of what they watch on TV, video games.
How to teach right behavior to bullies
Bullies, too, are kids who just need the right guidance to come back to the right path. The solution lies in the problem itself. The real work needs to be done at home by parents.
Bullies' parents should start giving time and love to their kids. Love connection is the strongest way to teaching the right behavior.
Parenting is tough. But if we are aggressive with our kids, then that's what we're teaching them to be. We should start learning positive parenting techniques slowly to guide through love.
Parents need to keep a check on older siblings. They should be explained gently that younger ones too have an equal right at home.
Neighborhood bully friends can be avoided by building strong loving connection with kids. When they're content at home, they'll not be under the influence of wrong people.
Teach them to treat everyone at school fairly. These social skills are meant to be learnt right from preschool, which are much more important than reading or writing skills.
We as parents are responsible for kids' gadgets addiction to a large extent. Replace presents with your presence, play with them in park, involve them in your household chores - it surely is a game for them.
I've researched a lot to compile all the possible solutions for kids being bullied, and for bullies.
I hope these ideas will work best for your kids.