Tell someone: bullying techniques
What is bullying?
Bullying is a widely used term that can cover a wide range of situations. But in general, bullying refers to the use of actions or words that have the intention of harming or intimidating others. Bullying has always been a problem for our youth but it is becoming an increasing problem in recent years, recent statistics have shown that in the U.K alone last year 1.5 million children had suffered some form of bullying, of this 1.5 million 19% reported being bullied every day.
Types of bullying
Physical bullying: perhaps the most widely known physical bullying is the use of physical actions against individuals such as hitting, kicking, tripping, pinching and pushing or damaging property. Physical bullying causes both short term and long term damage.
Verbal bullying: this form of bullying includes name calling, insults, teasing, intimidation, homophobic or racist remarks, or verbal abuse. While often this form of bullying starts off as harmless it can very easily escalate which is why it cannot be tolerated.
Social bullying: social bullying is a harder form of bullying to monitor, it involves rumours, teasing, rude facial expressions or mimicking all performed behind the person's back. It also involves encouraging others to exclude the individual or even to join in with the taunting. The aim of this type of bullying is to damage someone's social reputation or to cause the individual humiliation.
Cyber bullying: cyberbullying is the newest form of bullying, it was discovered after the introduction of social media. it involves hurtful messages, social media posts, emails and photos. Cyber bullying is a particular problem in today's social media society, it can be covert and overt, and allows the bully to reach the victim around the clock where ever they may be.
Who is affected by bullying?
The individual: the individual is perhaps the one most affected by bullying as they experience all the emotions and trauma involved from the abuse of the bully.
The family: many people fail to realize that bullying can have a large effect on the parents and family by causing large amounts of stress and anxiety.
The bully: yes the bully, in many instances of bullying it has been found that the child doing the bullying is often doing so because of problems of their own, whether that be problems at home, abuse, neglect or they are also being bullied, some children have even reported that they bullied other children because it gave them a sense of control that they did not have anywhere else.
What can parents do about bullying?
- Be vigilant: it is crucially important to look for early signs of bullying in order to take action before things become too serious. Signs of potential bullying include change in sleep patterns, change in eating patterns, fits of crying or anger, stammering, being withdrawn, targeting siblings, feeling ill in the morning or not wanting to go to school, and refusing to talk about what is wrong.
- Talk and listen: listen to your child's full story without interruptions, try to be empathetic and supportive, try to reassure your child that things will be ok, try to relate to your child with a story of a time you felt bullied and how you overcame it.
- Contact the school: contact your child's school and alert them to the situation, ask them if they have seen anything that would support your child's story, have the school arrange a meeting with the other child's parents in order to try and resolve this situation.
- Get them the help they need: if your child has been seriously affected by bullying you may wish to consider therapy or counselling by a professional in order to help your child cope with the situation they have experienced.
What can the child do about bullying?
- Tell someone: tell your parents, teachers or someone you trust about what is happening to you, they can help you with what's happening.
- Write it down (four W's): every time something happens to you write it down and use the four W's: Where did it happen? When did it happen? Who did it? What happened?
- Call the kids helpline: call this number and someone will talk with you and help with what is going on 1800 55 1800.
- Rise above it: bullies win when you get upset, when a bully annoys you act like you don't care. Bullies shouldn't be allowed to see you upset.
- Make a mind jar: whenever you feel hurt, sad or stressed make a mind jar to help you calm down, get your parents to help you, take a jar and fill it with warm water, glitter, glitter glue and food dye. Then stick the lid on top and give it a shake, every time you are stressed, sad or angry give it a shake and watch the glitter begin to settle down, as it settles down to take a deep breathe and you will begin to calm down.
- Draw a picture of your bully: draw a funny picture of your bully, then say how they make you feel to the picture and why you don't want them to bully you. Then rip it up and throw it away.
- Make a stress ball: get a balloon and fill it with rice, beans or flour. Tie a knot in the balloon and paint it any way you want. anytime you feel stressed or upset from your bully give your stress ball a squeeze and take deep breaths until you feel better.
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About Ciara McElhinney
Child Therapy NI. Written By Cory Spence. Psychology Student.