Posted by: Kim | December 29, 2010

Discussion Topic #1: Bullying

Trying something a little different to see if I like it.  I am wanting to get thoughts on different topics that I may or may not use in helping teach my kids (and myself) some lessons.  Who knows…we may all learn a little along the way. 

So, the first topic is that of bullying.  It has become a major focus in our school systems even though it is as old as dirt.  There is a “no tolerance” policy in the schools for bullying even though I am not really sure what that has accomplished because it is still a HUGE problem.  I hear stories all the time about kids being bullied, made fun of, picked on, etc even though there is supposed to be no tolerance.

After a quick internet search, here are the 5 essential bullying stats every parent should know … according to http://urbandojo.com/2010/06/09/how-to-prevent-bullying-part-1-bullying-statistics/

1.  Nearly 1 in 3 students are involved in bullying (either as the giver or receiver)

2.  While school violence as a whole has declined, bullying behaviors have increased by 5% (again, even though there is a no tolerance policy…I don’t understand)

3.  Kids who are obese, gay or have disabilities are up to 63% more likely to be bullied than other children

4.  Boys are more likely than girls to bully others (not sure about this one…girls can be meeeeaaaaan)

5.  Boys and girls get bullied in different ways.

According to www.education.com here are some signs your child may be a victim of bullying…

The pain and embarrassment of being bullied often causes victims to hide what is going on. But, there are a variety of ways to tell if your child is being bullied. Symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Safety concerns
  • Sadness
  • Aggression
  • Academic issues
  • Low self-esteem
  • Deficits in peer relations
  • Substance use
Other possible warning signs may include:
  • Numerous lost belongings
  • Frequent injuries or damage to clothes or property
  • Spends time primarily with younger students (may indicate a problem with peers)
  • Avoids recess (i.e., playground) before, during and/or after school
  • Arrives to school late or just at the starting bell
  • Appears to be alone most of the time at school
  • Obtains an excessive or insufficient amount of sleep
  • Somatic complaints (i.e., headaches, stomachaches, etc.)

From the same site, here are some signs your child may be bullying someone else…

  • Children who bully tend to have1:
    • Average or above average self-esteem.
    • Impulsive personalities.
    • Lack of empathy.
    • Difficulty conforming to rules.
    • Positive attitudes toward violence.
  • Some bullies are quite popular, enjoying high status and esteem from their peers, and even teachers. These are called “Hidden bullies” – popular children who exhibit aggression (persistent arguing, fighting, getting in trouble).2
  
This is just the tip of the iceberg on the information that is available out there.  I just don’t know why kids have to be so mean to each other.  Are we making it too easy for them?  Are there really consequences for those who are doing this?  What would you do or what have you done if your child is being bullied?  Anyone out there willing to share a story about their child being the bully?  How do we approach this situation in a way that shows the love of Christ? 
 
What are your thoughts?
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Responses

  1. Perhaps bullying is higher because the sensitivity is so much higher. It’s no longer just defined by a swirly in the toilet. Anything said that may hurt someone else is now called bullying–I’m thankful it is taken so seriously at our school, but you have to be very careful or you’ll have lunch detention for a week over a careless comment (last year, a group got it for commenting on the losing season of a particular school team).

    I also had one of mine being singled out for “disruptive behavior”, and we generally punish at home if there is a complaint at school. I do ask questions, and that time, was getting odd answers. Over the course of a couple days, we taught healthy boundaries in relationships. Just because a kid acts like a King or Queen doesn’t mean they are one. It’s easy for any of us to get caught up in power games trying to please people and miss the point of healthy friendships.

    Great posting idea. I look forward to more of these.


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