Bulling has been around for quite a long time. With computers, phones and all the social media sites, bullying has gone to a new level. It needs to stop! It won't stop unless parents,teachers, and everyone else that has contact with children learn how to spot bullying and correct it. Physical, verbal, and social media bulling makes kids anxious, depressed and sometimes suicidal. It doesn't have to be this way. It is preventable, so let's work together!
Bulling in Early Childhood
Children ages 1-5 is the time when kids have their first opportunity to interact with kids their own age. They may be aggressive and will act out when they don't get their own way. They are not being a bully. This is normal behavior for the 1-5 crowd. Just because it is normal doesn't mean it's an OK thing to do. There are things that you can do to help your kids get along with others.
- Set rules for behavior and be aware of what they are doing. Try and stop the aggressive behavior before it starts, or stop it as soon as you can.
- Teach them to say "I'm sorry" and have them correct the situation. For example: I work with 18 month old kids. They like to take toys away from each other. I have them say sorry (if they can) and have them give the other child their toy back.
- There are consequences to their actions in a way they can understand.
- Encourage children to let a adult know if they, or a friend is hurt from another child.
- Teach positive ways for them to make friends. Help them to learn how to join others and take turns in games.
Signs that your Child is being Bullied
- Refuses to go to school.
- Doesn't want to talk about school.
- Won't go to after school activities.
- Hungry after school (more that usual). Could be someone is stealing lunch or lunch money.
- Doesn't want to go tho the lunch room.
- Has headaches, stomach aches from worry
- Grades, homework decline.
- Wants to be left alone, is angry
- Uses bad language when it is not like the child.
- Unexplained bruises or injuries.
- Anxious or seems to be depressed
A few signs that your child may be the bully
- Only includes certain kids in his activities.
- Wants to be popular, or needs to stay popular.
- Teases other children.
- Likes aggressive video games.
- Hurts animals.
- Lots of gossiping about other kids
Take a look at your own behavior. Do you gossip about other people? How about excluding others? Do your children see you do these things? Believe me ,they are watching and listening! Do your children do the same things you do?
This type of bulling can be worse than being bullied in person. Cyber bulling is done on social media and often the bully can remain anonymous. It's easier for the bully this way. They fell like they can post anything they want without any consequences. A few examples of Cyber bulling are:
- Mean Text messages
- Rumors about someone that are not true posted on social media sites and can be forwarded to anyone.
- Embarrassing photos and videos posted.
- People can make fake profiles and say anything they want about someone without anyone knowing who they are.
It is harder to stop cyber bulling than the "old fashioned" way. They can post anonymously and it can get to people in an instant. It can also be done at all hours, not just during school hours. It's also hard to get the inappropriate images and messages deleted. When things are posted on the internet it will most likely be there for a very long time.
The kids who are cyber-bullied sometimes: don't want to go to school, uses drugs or alcohol, have been bullied in person, poor grades, physical aches. They will probably have low self esteem because they will believe what the bully's are saying about them.
A lot of the time kids who are bullied in person will have the same thing done to them online as well. It will double the odds the the victims will start showing aggressive behavior. Bully will create bully's.
Prevent Cyber Bulling
Be aware what your kids are doing online!
Establish rules about technology use. Be clear about what sites they can visit and what they can do online. Show them how to be safe online.
Make sure your kids know that once they post something it can be forwarded to the world! Who do they want the information and pictures that they post online to see? Strangers will see it, and friends of friends will also. Ask them to think about people who are not their friends could use the photos or information.
Tell them to keep their passwords safe and not to share them. Sharing passwords will take away any control that they have.
Know the sites your kids visit. Ask questions! Get a sense of what they are doing. Let them know that you may review their online activities. Ask for their passwords. Let them know you will only use it if there is a need to.
Ask your friends to follow or be their friends on social media sites. I have my friends on some of my daughters sites, and I am friends with some of my friends kids as well.
Talk about what to do if they are being bullied, or they think that a friend is. Tell them that there will be no questions asked. Better to be safe!
I am sure that we all have heard the horror story's about kids committing suicide because of bully's. School shootings have happened because of the shooter was bullied. If this is happening to you please get all the help that you can for your child. Schools say that they have zero tolerance for bulling. Be sure that they stand up for the victims. Be persistent!
If you have any comments that you would like to add, or anything that I have not talked about, please leave a comment!