Saturday, March 26, 2011

Helping the Bully

     We usually think of the bully as someone who should be punished for his bullying behavior, we don't have any desire to help him. When the bully is a child, however, without help to change that behavior, the bully has a good chance to grow into a criminal lifestyle. One study showed that 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by age 24. Not good.

     I am aware of one elementary school counselor taking a child who had made remarks about killing another person and working with him to help develop compassion and understanding for that person. It is too early to know how that child will turn out, but I would bet money that he now has a better chance of escaping an antisocial lifestyle.

     Here are some ways to help the bully:
  • Don't minimize the problem, treat it seriously.
  • Don't believe everything your child tells you--check out the facts.
  • Try to find out why your child is exhibiting bullying behavior, get professional help if necessary.
  • Let your child know that bullying behavior is not tolerated.
  • Don't model bullying behavior, such as threats, slaps, etc.
This is the last of my series on bullying behavior. It has become a special interest of mine since a bully became a  part of my novel Address Unknown.

Have you had an experience with bullying? I would be interested in hearing about it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Parents Should Be Aware of the Many Types of Bullying

I was happy to learn this past week that the White House is holding a conference on bullying. Perhaps this will give it the national attention it deserves. So often we pay attention to bullying when a tragedy has occured, too late to help the victims. We should be mindful of bullying at all times.

In keeping with this, following are the types of bullying:

1. Physical Aggression: Hitting, pushing, kicking, spitting, stalking.

2. Verbal Aggression: Name calling, teasing, insulting remarks, threatening, disrespecting a persons race, disability, appearance, religion, sexual orientation, or anything different about the person.

3. Emotional Aggression: Spreading rumors, isolating a person from a peer group.

4. Sexual Aggression: Unwanted sexual advances or actions intended to make the person uncomfortable, embarrassed, or humiliated, and might include obscenities or gestures, exposure or physical contact.

5. Cyber Bullying: Using the internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phone to communicate words, images, or language to willfully harm a person as described above.

Any thoughts about bullying? I would love to hear from you.