With this school year progressing quickly, you and your children are most likely settling into a routine for each day, despite reluctance to transition from the carefree, warm and slow pace of summer life.
While your child goes to new classes, meets new teachers, makes new friends and learns new subjects, he/she may be plagued with some old, reoccurring problems. Most commonly, bullying is an obstacle; the act and effects of bullying could be inhibiting your child’s ability to focus and excel in school.
Most recently, one out of every four students (22%) report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015). Moreover, 64% of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36% reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010). Although you as a parent may find yourself well-informed on the topic of bullying, refreshing or furthering your knowledge on how to help can aid your child in tackling the obstacle as safely and effectively as possible.
If your child has been or is being bullied, it may feel like ceasing this behavior immediately is the most suitable next step. While this is an important objective, taking a broader look at the causes and motives behind why your child is being bullied (specifically from the perpetrator’s perspective) could give you greater insight on why it continues to happen, and allow you to equip your child with more specific tools to end and prevent it.
The CDC also provides a compilation of up-to-date information about the topic of bullying, and some common questions that may further your knowledge.
Myths & Facts about Bullying, Courtesy of HelpGuide.org
MYTH: It’s only bullying if the child is physically hurt. Words can’t hurt.
FACT: Children have killed each other and committed suicide after being involved in verbal, relationship, or cyber-bullying. Words do hurt and they can have a devastating effect on the emotional wellbeing of a child or teen.
MYTH: My child would never be a bully.
FACT: All kids make mistakes; it’s part of growing up. Parents who deny the possibility that their child is capable of being hurtful make it harder for bullies to get the help they need.
MYTH: Bullies are simply bad people and should be expelled from school.
FACT: There are a lot of reasons why children bully. Some are bullied themselves, at home or elsewhere, others bully only when they feel stressed or overwhelmed.
MYTH: Kids can be either bullies or victims, not both.
FACT: Kids can often change roles, going from victim to bully and back again. For example, a bully in fifth grade may be a victim when he moves to middle school, or a victim in the playground can take revenge and become the bully online.