Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. We want to help stop bullying at church, school, online, and in the community. Some feel that bullying is a normal right of passage in growing up. It isn’t!! There will always be conflicts between kids, but bullying is intentional cruelty, harassment, and emotional, physical and sometimes sexual abuse. This behavior can set the tone for a lifetime of intentional cruelty or worse. And the consequences to the victim can seriously affect them for the rest of their lives.
Psychology Today explains that Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others, specifically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Bullying is not garden-variety aggression; it is a deliberate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power. It's a very durable behavioral style, largely because bullies get what they want—at least at first. Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age, if the normal aggression of 2-year-olds isn't handled well.
Many studies show that bullies lack prosocial behavior, are untroubled by anxiety, and do not understand others' feelings. They typically see themselves quite positively. Those who chronically bully have strained relationships with parents and peers.
Electronic bullying has become a significant problem in the past decade. The ubiquity of hand-held and other devices affords bullies any-time access to their prey, and harassment can often be carried out anonymously. This parent page is a great resource for parents of students and teens. Check it out HERE.
There are many roles that kids can play. Kids can bully others, they can be bullied, or they may witness bullying. When kids are involved in bullying, they often play more than one role. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying.
One of our kids@ehills kiddos I meet with regularly shared an amazing book she is reading right now on this very subject.
Of course I read it! Amazing read for any age really! The book Wonder is incredible, written with understanding and compassion. I would highly recommend you reading this with your family to lead to a great understanding and conversation about bullying.
There is also a movie being made about this book. As I watched this trailer, I was captivated by these words. “You can’t blend in when you were born to stand out”. Take a look HERE.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Tiffany Ann Johns to gain insight to share from her on this topic. Tiffany Ann is a mother of 4, one of which has special needs. She and her special needs daughter visit schools and organizations educating others on disabilities, bullying and how to demonstrate kindness. She shared some great reminders of ways we can help students and kids to choose to be kind.
- When someone looks different or acts different, say hello
- Introduce yourself, even if they do not respond
- If you see bullying, stand up and say something
- Do not rely on others
- See something-Say something
Tiffany Ann suggested another amazing resource for children. This book is called Out of My Mind and can be found here.
Remember….the opposite of bullying is KINDNESS.