Wednesday, August 1, 2012

TEEN TRENDS - BULLYING

(This blog is written to inform parents & others of disturbing trends of teenagers.)





As the new school year begins so does the homework, sports, cheer-leading, other extracurricular activities, and sadly, bullying. This is an old post that I did last school year, but as the new year starts up again, the bullying will soon follow, so I thought it was important to put this topic back into the forefront of all parent's minds.  Even though a lot of attention has been placed on bullying, a solution for this huge problem has not been found, so it is up to parents to take a stand and fight for their child.  Every child has the right to attend school, without the fear of being the victim of a bully.

BULLYING is the assertion of power through aggression in a repeated, hostile behavior by one or more people, which is intended to harm others.

BULLYING TAKES ON MANY FORMS:
  • Physical violence, including hitting, tripping, punching, kicking, shoving, pinching. Verbal threats, taunts, teasing, name calling, put-downs, and spreading of malicious rumor.
  • Threats and intimidation.
  • Stealing money and possessions.
  • Exclusion from peer groups, rejection, isolation, humiliation.
  • Cyber-bullying, including harassing e-mails or IMs, as well as hurtful and threatening postings on websites or blogs.
"Bullying is not about anger. It is not a conflict to be resolved, it's about contempt - a powerful feeling of dislike toward someone considered to be worthless, inferior or undeserving of respect. Contempt comes with three apparent psychological advantages that allow kids to harm others without feeling empathy, compassion or shame. These are: a sense of entitlement that they have the right to hurt or control others, an intolerance towards difference, and a freedom to exclude, bar, isolate, and segregate others." (Barbara Coloroso "The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander")

WARNING SIGNS OF BULLYING:
  • Damaged or missing clothing or other personal belongings
  • Unexplained bruises or other injuries
  • A loss of friends
  • Reluctance to go to school
  • Poor school performance
  • Headaches, stomachaches or other physical complaints
  • Trouble sleeping or change in eating habits
  • A loss of interest in activities he/she previously enjoyed
  • Low self esteem, depression, suicidal thoughts
WHY DO SOME KIDS BULLY?
  • They may see it as a way of being popular.
  • To make themselves appear tough and in charge.
  • To get attention or make other people afraid of them.
  • They may be jealous of the person they are bullying. 
  • They may have been bullied themselves.
  •  
KIDS WHO BULLY ARE MORE LIKELY TO:
  • Do poorly in school.
  • Be suspended or expelled from school. 
  • Not be respected or trusted. 
  • Be seen as mean and unpleasant. 
  • Smoke and drink alcohol. 
  • Commit crimes in the future. 
  • Have their first serious encounter with the law in their mid-20's.
*FACTS ABOUT BULLYING:
  • Bullying occurs in school playgrounds every 7 minutes and once every 25 minutes in class.
  • 11 to 12 year old students reported bullying others more than younger (9-10 year old) and older (13-14 year old) students.
  • Boys report more physical forms of bullying; girls tend to bully in indirect ways, such as gossiping and excluding.
  • Boys who bully are physically stronger and have a need to dominate others.
  • Girls who bully tend to be physically weaker than other girls in their class.
  • Bullies have little empathy for their victims and show little remorse about bullying.
  • Boys and girls are equally likely to report being bullied.
  • Research has not supported the popular stereotype that victims have unusual physical traits.
  • 85% of bullying episodes occur in the context of a peer group.
  • 83% of students indicate that watching bullying makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Bullying stops in less than 10 seconds 57% of the time when peers intervene on behalf of the victim.
  • In playground observations, peers intervened in 11% of the bullying episodes, while teachers only intervened in 4% of bullying episodes.
  • Bullies often come from homes that are neglectful, hostile, and use harsh punishment.
  • Bullying is  a learned behavior.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO (If you suspect your child is being bullied)?

  • Talk often with your child and listen carefully.
  • Ask about your child's school day and friends.
  • Ask if your child feels safe at school.
  • Encourage your child to share his/her concerns.
  • Learn as much as you can about the situation. (Ask your child to describe how and when the bullying occurs, who is involved, and if other children or adults have witnessed the bullying.)
  • Teach your child how to respond to bullying. (Don't encourage fighting back against a bully, as this could lead to him/her getting hurt or getting in trouble.)
  • Contact school officials.  You may also want to encourage school officials to address bullying as part of the curriculum.
  • Followup.  Keep in contact with school officials if the bullying continues.  Be persistent.
  • Boost your child's self-confidence.  Help your child get involved in activities to raise self esteem, such as sports, karate, music or art.
  • Know when to seek professional help.  Consider professional or school counseling for your child if his/her fear or anxiety becomes overwhelming.

WHAT CAN PARENTS DO (When your child is a bully)?
  • Take is seriously.  Don't treat bullying as a passing phase.
  • Teach that bullying is disrespectful and can be dangerous.
  • Talk to your child to find out why he or she is bullying.
  • Help build empathy for others and for those who are physically different.  Have them spend time with people of different backgrounds, races, ethnicity, mental and physical disabilities. 
  • Talk to your child about how it feels to be bullied.
  • Ask a teacher if your child is facing any problems at school.
  • Teach that bullying on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation is a form of hate behavior and is, in some cases, a hate crime.
  • Become a part of the bullying prevention efforts and programs at your school.
As if traditional bullying wasn't enough, kids are now being bullied online, called CYBER bullying.
i-SAFE America research team surveyed more than 1500 students in 4th to 8th grade across the country that revealed: 
  • 58% admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online.
  • 53% admit having said something mean or hurtful to another online.
  • 42% have been bullied online.
  • 58% of kids have not told their parents or any adult about being bullied online.
CYBER-BULLYING INCLUDES:
  • A threatening email. 
  • Nasty instant messages (IMs)
  • Repeated texts sent to cell phone. 
  • A website setup to mock others.
  • "Borrowing" someones screen name and pretending to be them while posting a message.
  • Forwarding supposedly private messages, pictures or video to others.
PREVENTION TECHNIQUES FOR AVOIDING BULLIES ONLINE:
  • Don't give out private information, especially passwords. Not even to friends.
  • Don't send a message when you are angry-it is hard to undo things that are said in anger.
  • Never open, read or reply to messages from cyber-bullies.
  • If it is school related, tell your school.
  • Do not erase the messages. They may be needed to take action.
  • If bullied through chat or IM, the bully can often be blocked.
  • If you are threatened with harm, call the police.
  • By speaking out and telling an adult, online bullying can be stopped.
Bullying is an age old problem, but gone are the days when we can sit back and say, "kids will be kids". Bullying has gone too far. School administrators, teachers, school staff, students, and parents have got to accept the responsibility to recognize, report, and intervene when bullying occurs. We can no longer close our eyes to it. Studies have shown that acts of serious school violence (school shootings) stem from bullying issues, along with suicide.

The video below is by Christian rock band Super Chick, called "Hero". It was made in remembrance of those killed in the Columbine school shootings. Please watch and listen to the words.


WILL YOU BE SOMEONES HERO?






38 comments:

Write Moms said...

Hi,
Great article. Our son had to deal with bullies on the bus and in school when he was younger. The bus driver wouldn't stop it, the school wouldn't stop it and the teachers just wanted to ignore it. I finally called the parents of the kids who were bullying him and they said it wasn't their problem, it was the school's problem. It was very frustrating. I finally had to start driving him to school everyday because the school told us that unless he was physically assalted and the bus driver saw it then they couldn't do anything. Imagine that. Eventually he grew taller than everyone else and they left him alone, but he shouldn't have had to put up with it to begin with. Sometimes schools find it easier to turn the other way so they don't have to deal with parents of bullys. I hope that isn't true everywhere, but it was here.

Vickie said...

Wonderful article. I am always worried about my oldest daughter. We live right next to the school so I am always looking out my window during recess to make sure she is okay.

Kmphillips73 said...

This is a great post. I've seen some kids who put up with bullying all through school and then finally they just snap. My brother was teased relentlessly when he was younger and never took up for himself. He finally had all he could take and decided to fight back one day. He got into trouble, the other kid didn't.

I think a lot of parents don't realize their children are bullies. This needs to be discussed in every home as a measure of prevention. Children need to learn to practice tolerance and compassion at an early age. There will always be some degree of bullying but I think there should a be a zero tolerance policy in all schools.

Aria said...

I remember the good ole days when official bullying went out by the time you hit high school... now it seems to wait till high school to start and it is WAY meaner and harmful than we went through. Also, may I say, that most teens these days are total hot-house-flowers from all the EVERYONE gets an award for participation and that kind of feel good over-kill. Bottom line, kids these days aren't used to rejection cause they didn't get it as youngsters so they can't handle being on the receiving end, but also, they don't understand how harmful they're being on the giving end cause they never endured it. Maybe if we go back to people NOT making the team. And only the best ones getting awards, kids would get a healthy dose of rejection while they're young and not want to propagate the negativity with behaviors like bullying... and the resulting suicides would stop too cause the kids are used to a little mild rejection & won't take this shit to heart. OK, so now I have to copy and paste this to my blog cause I've got a lot more to say.... BUT to be fair, I'm totally gonna linkback to you cause you sparked me off... Great day to you Ziggy!

Cher said...

Dropped my EC, purchased an ad, and I reviewed you on Link Referral. Great Site!

Ali said...

Very informative post. My oldest is 7 and I'm always on the look out for these signs. I'm guilty of wanting him to fight back though. I've told him that if someone ever bullies him then to give them a warning. If they don't stop, then he has my permission to fight back.

RamblingMother said...

Great information. Sad that adults sometimes participate and encourage the bullying by either doing nothing or ignoring the problem. Stopping by from SITS.

Candice said...

Bullying will always be a problem but with people like you around reminding parents I think we might be able to put a stop to this!

tracy said...

Wow, that was really powerful.. what an amazing amount of information. And put in a way i hadnt considered.

thank you

tracy

Rene' Morris said...

I seriously detest bullying. My book deals with bullying and how to handle it in a Christian manner. It also offers resources for getting help. I don't believe that ignoring it works and no one should take that advice. If you're interested, you can read more about my book at http://renemorris.com I'm not trying to spam, just offering another resource that could help. Feel free to leave a link on my blog if you want. ;-)

mary said...

Excellent post and information. Bullying is a serious problem among kids. Education, understanding and most importantly, as the wonderful dog in a life jacket portrays, courage is what's needed to help bring attention and resolution to this unacceptable problem.

For shame Megan Meier, for absolute shame.

Cheryl Anne said...

I followed you from profitable mommy blogging where you voted for me to win the mommy blog--I wanted to come say thank you for the vote. U have a wonderful blog here and I will visit often. Thanks so much and keep up the great work. =) We need more article like this one.

Cheryl said...

Wow. It's so amazing. What I hate is the parents who think it's funny when their kids are the bullies. My son starts kindergarten next year. It's important to me that he is compassionate and empathetic. Thanks for sharing this and have a HAPPY SITS SATURDAY SHAREFEST!

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

KDC Events said...

I don't understan why kids are so mean. My son is in 2nd grade and it is starting already. He tells me he sticks up for his friend who gets picked on for being small. It is heartbreaking. It is a topic we discuss all the time.

Kathryn said...

What an excellent post! I was bullied in Grade 8 by a classmate that I thought was a friend. Nothing physical...just nasty comments in front of the other girls. And it was just her. The other girls were uncomfortable but didn't want her to start on them. Thankfully, I went to a different high school and never saw her again. To this day, I don't know why she chose me as her target except that I was well liked by my fellow students and by teachers. You never forget it. I worry about my grandkids who are just starting high school. I'll definitely be following your posts.

Gaspegirl said...

Oh so interesting! Thanks for sharing that information with us...

Just visiting from SITS, make it a great day!

☼¨`*•.♥RocĂ­o♥.•*¨`☼ said...

Oh wow!!
Thanks for this article!!!

alicia said...

Thanks so much this post. So informative are pertinent to today's world. I never thought my kids would be targets, but alas it has happened. If it would be alright I'd like to link this in my blog at some point. Thanks again.

alicia @ a beautiful mess
http://www.weloveiowa.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The best hearts are always the bravest.


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Roadmap to Study

Anonymous said...

Plain living and high thinking.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for good stuff.

Lexz Pryde said...

Great article/website! Nowadays bullying can happen anywhere and because the internet is becoming a main source of communication it is also becoming a main cause of bullying! It saddens me to think that above all the pressures of being a young student and learning to adjust to the overwhelming pressures of everyday life such as school work, finding a source of income, applying to collages, peer pressure, and to top it off trying to fit in the stereotype of "cool". To me being "cool" consists of being different, unique and having the potential of standing up for what is right and not settling for what may be "cool" at that moment. In a young mind it is very common to do things on impulse unaware that serious consequences can accrue down the road. For me it was always very important to consider other peoples feelings and when being a witness to bullying never allowing it to reach its full potential. During high school I witnessed many bullying incidents and made it clear that these victims have feelings and different intentions and we need to learn to accept people for who they are because America was built on diversity and freedom of expressing oneself so who are "you" to speak upon someone else’s looks, clothes, friends, personality, or love interest? Like a snowflake NO two people are alike so lets learn to embrace the beauty in being different!

If anyone is being a victim of bullying please know there is help! Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem! and remember "10 years from now it wont matter the shoes you wore or the friends you had what will matter is the person you become!"

visit: www.lexzpryde.com and download my anti-bullying song: 'Perfect Creation'
Thanks,
Lexz

Truth Mama said...

I forgot about how girls bully too. I hated the rumors and gossip that would go around and just like you say, it was the worst when I was 10 or so. I have a while to go before I have to worry about bullies, but it's good to know what to watch out for. Oh, and found you on the VoiceBoks 'Parenthood' event. Thanks!

Amber @JadeLouise Designs said...

What a powerful article! My husband was bullied in school and had to be home schooled for a year because of it. His little brother was also bullied for a time. My Son was bullied last year. It is very real and very dangerous. Thankfully we were able to restrict my son's interaction with the kid who was bullying him; but it makes it difficult for a child who just wants to make friends and enjoy school.

I often worry that my children will be bullied later in their years as well as children are learning to be more and more petty and mean at younger ages, so I'm preparing now in case the day comes that I will have to homeschool my children for a year or two to ensure that they are SAFE.

I have my children tell me anytime someone from school does anything to them and we sit and have a discussion about what was done, why it was wrong and a better way the situation could have been handled. I always make a point to ensure that they understand that the bullying is WRONG, that they are worth a lot and are very loved. And then we try to devise a plan to help keep them from being bullied in the future.

thankfully we have only had to deal with MILD bullying.

I enjoyed visiting from VB's Parent's event.
JadeLouise Designs

Alana Whiter said...

This is a great article. I have a son who was bullied, people calling him names and pick on him. I was relieved to find that there was a lot of helpful information out there like http://onlineceucredit.com/edu/social-work-ceus . It offers great tips for parents to help end their teen's bullying.

Joy said...

Thanks for addressing such a vital topic! I was bullied, but I also finished highschool 20 years ago - and it's only gotten worse!

I remember going back to my school to visit a favourite teacher a couple of years ago. As I waited in the office, I read the new code of conduct, which included "I will not bring my firearm to class". Now, this is in Canada, where we don't typically have firearms we could bring!

When I finally located my teacher, I found a bitter man. The kids, more than the system, had done him in. Really sad!

rhonda said...

Wow. Bless you for bringing this issue to our attention. I think we should be talking about this as often as possible. You shared some sad but true information, and I will be bookmarking and referencing this (you) in future posts. I really pray that awareness will bring healing and more FOCUS to what is happening around the world. I hope somehow, by putting our heads together, adults can bring peace into the school, instead of children alienating, intimidating, and being hateful toward their classmates,
THanks again!
Rhonda

mail4rosey said...

This is a really great article. My daughter had a bout with bullying and it was a really, really hard time for her to go through. No matter what we say, they still FEEL everything that is going on so deeply.

ReviewsSheROTE Pamela R said...

wonderfully written post about a very meaningful topic--I try to stay on top of what happening with my kids-their school has a VERY good "NO BULLYING" program and both my kids are very involved.

Courtney G said...

You always have great articles:) I wonder if the cyber bullying, and just the nature of less accountability online has increased bullying?

leigh said...

Thanks for giving us this useful info. Makes me sad that the first reason listed for bullying is that kids may think it makes them popular. So sad - what an abuse of power!
Leigh
www.oneandoneequalstwinfun.com

Kristy Bauce said...

This a great and very informative post. I have done a couple essays this semester on teenage bullying and the effects it can have on a person. There are many different types of bullying, not always just the typical hitting or pushing. Teens actually commit suicide sometimes over being bullied. With social media and the internet it is much easier these days to bully someone. Cyber bullying is becoming much more common today and is only getting worse. We need to stress the importance of this to all of our children.

Anonymous said...

Ziggy,
Thank you for caring for the voice of others. People need to know that bullying is never okay! Its good to always have a friend to talk to in dire need, and your that person(: You are truly beautiful. Maddy Cook

Jess said...

Thanks for posting this, it's really helpful! People don't realise that bullying is not a joking matter, and however bad your own life is you shouldn't be taking it out on other people, it doesn't help you or them! I found teenage bullying advice website very helpful, as it is written by a teenager who has been through that herself.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This is a well written post.

Children are lets say, "Blank Slates" when they are born. The way that they act and behave in certain situations is because of what they saw and what they were taught while growing up. Its Behavioral Psychology; or lack of, by the parents and authority figures.

If a young child does something "mean"(Lets just say they cuss at an adult) and if the parents think it's "cute", the child will learn that it is okay to do that.

Some children do not get enough punishment these days and are given basically given a "free pass" from their parents to do as they please. Which may even lead to deviant behavior by the child. This is where the bullying comes in. The children who were never properly taught right from wrong will do what they want, when they want while in school.

Teachers and students rarely interfere with this act of deviance. It seems that if an individual takes control and gains power, then others will follow - As in the bullying. It is like what Soloman Ash studied, his studies show that the individual(person being bullied) will never/rarely go against the group(the bullies). Students are basically conforming to fit into their surroundings!

Another psychologist; Stanley Milgram, studied that people can and will do things even if it goes against their morals when a higher power tells them to do so. The students that feel this way and still participate in the bullying will say that they "were just following the crowd" or "everyone else was doing it". This to shows that students will conform to fit in.

What kids will do so that they will fit in or not be the next target...

Anonymous said...

A few suggestions.

1. Never ignore bullying; it only gets worse, increases, and reinforces vulnerability and weakness.

2. If you are a boy, learn to fight and do it reasonably well. Talk to a family friend who knows how to fight. Work on your skills on a daily basis. Fighting is a skill just like math, science or a foreign language and at least as important as them. Head-butting can be effective, and the small bones at the top of the foot and shin can be sensitive areas.

3. Don't worry about school records, etc, those are small things compared with the sadness and consequence of bullying.

4. While things have improved, don't count on schools or teachers to help. Teachers distinguish high-priority items (salaries, tenure, and medical reimbursement) with low-priority items such as protecting children.

5. Kids will be pretty fair. If there is a fight, generally onlookers will let it happen. Kids usually don't report others. While I was unpopular and the kid I fought in a classroom was likewise, when we started a fight in a class and the teacher threatened to take action against everyone in the class, no one told.

6. Boys should improve social skills. Listen, be a part of the group, smile, learn social skills. If you do make a negative comment about someone, you probably will have to back it up; don't make the comment if you aren't prepared to fight.

Michelle Taipe said...

This blog is very interesting, because the content that is shared in this community really helps both the young who suffer from this problem than the parents of the victims. Also I think that this topic should end the bullying in schools soon because we all have the same rights, so everyone should take as brothers, because everything in life goes around and comes back to us what we give, that's why the appearance isn't most important than the happiness of people or the money that they have and we focus more on having good relationships with others because it is the only thing that we need to be happy.

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