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Posts Tagged ‘effects of bullying’

Beating The Bullies-Draw The Line On Bullying

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019

Are you afraid your child is being picked on by a bully in school? Do you know how to talk to your kids about bullying and methods for beating the bullies at their own game? How do you draw the line on bullying?  How do you and your child succeed at beating the bullies? Is bullying that bad?  YES.

Left unchecked, bullying can be disastrous for children and their self-esteem.  Some of the long term effects of bullying may lead to depression or make it hard to form lasting trusting relationships.

Bullies Cannot Be Allowed To Harm Our Kids

But as a caring adult, what can you do that will not make the situation worse?  You may very well think that playground bullying is between the children and adults should not get involved.  However, left unchecked, bullying will only escalate and your child will be left feeling vulnerable and unsafe.

Granted I am older that most parents who are dealing with this issue.  But, even when our kids were younger, bullying wasn’t much talked about. If teachers or parents saw a blatant case of bullying, they stepped in and put a stop to it – often with a smack to the head or a threat of one. Even if the smack was not delivered, most kids were scared enough of the principal and teachers that the abuse stopped.

Many times the teachers would look the other way when someone had the courage to confront the bully and fight it out behind the school.  That may very well happen today, but it is not condoned. Times have changed. As a society, we don’t discipline in that manner any longer.

Teachers and administrators are so afraid of a law suit that they frequently jump in too soon.

cyberbullying, protect children from bullies, online bullies, facebook bully, help for kids who are bullied

New ideas to help you and your child beat the bullies. Check out http://www.cyberbullyinghelp.com for more information. You will be glad you did.

 

New Way Of Responding To Bullies

Many schools practice some sort of “bullying control.”  I am familiar with Kelso’s Choice which is an excellent program for elementary schools.

One middle school I know, practices the concept of ‘the line.’ Individual students either operate above the line or below the line. Above–the-line behavior includes self-control and respect for others – especially respect for fellow students.

Below the line is the domain where the bully operates. Bullies don’t care so much about respecting others. Bullies choose to elevate them selves by putting others down. The bullies own lack of self-respect is most likely a root cause of their bullying behavior.

Let’s be clear, the bully is a leader who leads others below-the-line. The bully gains power when others follow. Without a following, the bully loses power.

Teach your children to pick up on what the bully says but to reply in a way that neutralizes the insult.  For example:

“You stink.”

“Yep, it is a new shampoo.  I think it smells great.”

Help them to understand they have a choice. Either choose to lead and live above the line or lead and live below the line.
Either choose to follow the leaders who operate above the line or follow the bullies who operate below the line.

Bullies Are Cowards

A great method for defussing bullying incidences is to ask the bully to “say it again.” Encourage your child to keep asking the bully to repeat the insult until it becomes less offensive. Since most bullies are cowards and lack the courage to repeat the insult and are more likely to tone it down.

Teach your kids to imagine themselves inside a protective bubble that bounces off bullies’ words.  If they practice visualizing this with you, they will be able to have some control in a potentially disempowering encounter.

Empower Your Child

 Make sure your children have chances to make friends and have successes away from where bullying takes place.  Try a drama group, sports club, band, or choir where the group provides a shared activity than can rebuild confidence eroded by bullies.

Share your comments and ideas at www.cyberbullyinghelp.com  You will also receive a two page list of resources to help beat the bully and draw the line on bullying.

Judy Helm Wright is an author, coach and parent educator.  Schedule a free consultation with her at http://www.judyhwright.com   You will be glad you did.

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Friday, October 18th, 2019

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Image Courtesy of sidedooryk.com

Parents of young adults, take heed. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only places where your kids might be bullied. There exist thousands of other online avenues where people hide under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ to say inappropriate and terrible things to your children. Take for example Ask.fm.

 

“Wait a minute. Why are you still alive?”

This is just one of the questions posted on the page of 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick, who killed herself last month by jumping from an abandoned cement building in Lakeland, Florida. Other questions included similarly horrible queries within the lines of “Why aren’t you dead?” and even non-questions “Drink bleach and die.”

Ask.fm is a social media site where users receive questions from anonymous people. According to LA Times report, millions of teenagers in the United States use this website to talk about late night parties, school work, and others subjects without parental supervision. Sedwick was tormented by about 15 girls her age on Ask.fm, among other lesser known social media portals.

The easily accessible technology of social media apps and virtually limitless internet connectivity gave way to an environment that thrives on anonymity. “These apps are free, and as a result … you can either go up anonymously or create a fictitious identification, and you can torment other children, and it is frightening to see that occur,” noted Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

 

“Yes ik  I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a f***]”

This was the exact status message of Guadalupe Shaw, 14 years old, after reports of Rebecca Sedwick committing suicide spread. “She needs more than God, she is disgusting,” said the first comment in Shaw’s status.

Police saw this message as a red flag. Along with 12-year old Katelyn Roman, county police arrested Shaw despite planning to delay any detainments due to the nature of the case and the age of the involved individuals. Sheriff Judd said that Roman and Shaw were the primary harassers.

When asked about the legality of the arrest and the case to be filed against the youngsters, Judd mentioned that although bullying in itself is not a crime, it can be grounds for stalking and aggravated stalking.

“We take bullying and cyber bullying exceptionally serious in this county and always have,” said Judd.

 

“Choose your words carefully.”

This was the advice that most experts in behavioral psychology want parents to instill to their children when dealing with cyber bullying. Because children grew up with technology that was not available back when their parents were growing up, research and coaching are imperative for parents to address the issue. These concepts were said by Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center on an instructional video found on VerizonWireless’s feature on a familial approach to address cyber bullying.

Part of this research involves being familiar with social networking sites that are overlooked such as the aforementioned Ask.fm, Kik (a smartphone messaging app), and SnapChat.

SnapChat is particularly controversial. Commonly used by adults to hook up by sending ‘pic trading’ or exchanging photos; this app has been the center of the social phenomenon called ‘sexting’. “The biggest part of these sites is parents don’t know about them,” said author of “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen” Sue Scheff.

The lack of initiative from parents to get involved with their children’s internet and social media actions create a difficult situation where harassment is only detected when it’s already too late, Scheff said. “It’s as simple as that. No one really knew a lot about Ask.fm until Rebecca died,” she noted.

Resources are always available online for parents to get the basic concepts of social media. How will you deal with it, if your child experiences cyber bullying?

 

Dennis Redley is an advocate of responsible internet usage. He supports various cyber safety initiatives including Verizon’s online safety campaign and Higher EdTech Asia. He is also an aspiring educator and takes part in counseling students.

 

What Is Cyber Bullying & Helping The Bystander To Bullying

Friday, October 11th, 2019

What is Cyber Bullying?

According to Stopbullying.gov, cyber bullying is bullying that happens using the internet or electronic technology. Just like regular bullying, cyber bullying involves an aggressive act performed by a person that has (or that is perceived to have) more power toward a person that has (or that is perceived to have) less power. Bullying is repetitive and purposeful. It can include name calling, threats to cause harm and spreading rumors.

What Are Schools Doing to Prevent Bullying?

Nearly all schools take some measure to educate students about bullying and to prevent them from bullying their peers. Teachers talk about bullying in students’ health classes. Schools hold special programs and assemblies to educate students about the importance of not bullying. It all goes to enforce to students that bullying is wrong, hurtful and unacceptable. But if students know these things, why does it still happen?

Despite all the education that students receive about bullying, bullying still exists both at school and online. While anti-bullying measures demonstrate the school’s best intentions, The Total Bully Solution points out that too often school’s best efforts frequently don’t work. There are several reasons why people continue to bully when they know it is wrong. There are also several reasons why other students witnessing the bullying do not put a stop to it.

What is the Bystander Effect?

The bystander effect is what happens when people do not step in to help when they see another person being bullied or being placed in some type of danger. Named after the infamous stabbing of Kitty Genovese in 1964, the term “the bystander effect” refers to the tendency of people to not help in an emergency situation when other people are present.

According to social experiments done by Bibb Latané and John Darley, if one person witnesses an emergency situation where someone needs assistance, they are likely to help. They feel responsible for helping because they know if they do not help, no one else is around to do so.

 

Something strange happens when a group of people watch an emergency take place, however. Instead of rushing to help, people look at those around them to gauge their reactions. If no one else reacts, people rationalize not helping by saying that it is socially acceptable to not help or that someone else will help. They do not feel so responsible.

How Does the Bystander Effect Affect People who Witness Cyber Bullying?

People who witness cyber bullying online know that they are not the only people to see it. They feel removed from the situation and they figure that because so many people see the bullying taking place, they are not personally responsible for doing something to stop it. As a result, cyber bullies are able to continually harass their victims with no repercussions because no one intervenes. While it would be helpful if internet service providers were able to monitor online bullying, the best bully prevention techniques start at home.

How Can People Overcome the Bystander Effect?

The best way to overcome the bystander effect is to educate people about it. If people realize that they are in a large group of people who are not likely to help, they will be motivated to be the person that does help.

Sources:

http://emergingcenter.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/bullying-and-the-bystander-effect/
http://www.stopbullying.gov/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/bystander-effect

Nikki Longo is a writer based off the east coast. When she’s not writing at the desk that overlooks the beautiful tree in her backyard she can be found playing with her dogs or cooking up a new recipe. Feel free to reach out to her at nikkiblogsallday@gmail.com

Keep Kids Safe on Internet- Protect Them From Cyberbullies

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

As the two dimensional world envelopes more and more of our lives, the ability to use the Internet wisely can hold the key to our, and our children’s success in life. There are over 2.4 billion people that use the Internet today-an increase of over 500 percent according to InternetWorldStats.com, and that number is going to continue to grow as the Internet becomes an increasingly central force in our lives, interactions, and commerce.

Like any life-changing technology, the information super highway can be used for as much good as it can bad, it’s up to the user to dictate how they spend their time, and teach and inspire others. The future might just depend on our ability to discern how we teach our children to spend their time online.

Make Sure There’s a Return on What You Learn

Unlike other major technological advancements, surfing the Internet doesn’t direct us towards progress on an individual level (the plow helps us cultivate food, factory machines directly produce products, etc…). Unlike the invention of the wheel, sitting in a chair and browsing Facebook for four hours doesn’t get us anywhere. It’s up to us to seek out useful information online and apply it to our lives instead of letting ourselves and our children waste time getting sucked into a vapid hole.

Instead of wasting time lusting after cars you can’t afford, or lamenting how thick your favorite celebrity’s hair is, the Internet can also be used just as easily to teach yourself a new language, or become an expert in bug collecting. Using this general rule of thumb – browsing is for improving skills to apply to life – is integral to teaching your little ones how to inspire themselves, build their abilities, and succeed in life.

The Dangers of Strangers

Unfortunately, the Internet is also a mecca for creative thieves and swindlers, and teaching your children about keeping themselves safe online is as important as teaching them not to get into a strangers car. Identity thieves know the best ways to target and extrapolate personal information from adults, but they’re becoming more and more focused on children. A child’s social security number is much less likely to have a history of bankruptcy and bad credit, and most of us never even think to check our toddler’s credit score- it’s the perfect storm.

As your children reach the age of Internet exploration, teaching them to keep their personal information secret, and showing them how to spot predators is an absolute must. In the mean time, checking out ID theft protection services doesn’t hurt either.

Don’t Be a Click-ler Stickler

Altruism is one of the distinct aspects that separates people from animals, and makes us awesome. The Internet has the ability to inflate our sense of altruism without actually accomplishing anything. How many times have you “clicked” on a petition or felt good about “liking” a page that wants to end world hunger? Unfortunately, clicking and liking doesn’t apply to much of anything in the real world. If we want our children to grow up to be the type of people that can change the world, then it’s imperative we drill them with the difference between action and sentiment, and make it clear that all the clicks and likes in the world won’t clean up an oil spill or fix the ozone.

Parents, it is up to us to set the stage for the future of the world, and teaching our kids how to use the Internet and protect themselves from its dangers is, perhaps, the best way to prepare them to move mountains, save rain-forests, and keep themselves and their future families safe.

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works. http://www.ArtichokePress.com

Protect your children from being bullied online. Information on how text bullying works. http://www.ArtichokePress.com

How To Protect Your Child From Cyber Bullying Using Mobile Monitoring Applications?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

How To Protect Your Child From Cyber Bullying Using Mobile Monitoring Applications?

Mobile usage is increasing day by day and it has become an indispensable device. The additional uses of a mobile phone as a camera, a music player, a laptop to access mails and internet has resulted in its widespread usage. Children too have not been spared from being bitten by the mobile phone bug. The benefits are far surpassed by the crimes associated with children using mobile phones.

Cyber bullying is rampant in the cyber world.

Children unknowingly fall victims to such abuse through visiting prohibited sites and social networking sites. There have been many instances where children were lured through answering missed calls from unknown numbers and subjected to sexual harassment.

Hence, it is important for parents to protect their children from becoming victims of cyber abuse. This can be achieved by installing mobile monitoring applications like Mobile Spy on your child’s phone.

Software easy to install to protect your child

It is very easy to install such software on your child’s phone. Once installed, the data from the mobile phone is uploaded to your user account, which is created at the time of purchasing the monitoring application. All activities of the phone can then be viewed remotely through the user account. Some of the monitoring application features that help to protect your child from cyber abuse are:

Text bullying is a concern for many kids and their parents. Learn to monitor electronic devices your kids use and facts about internet safety.

  • Monitoring the call history: The monitoring application records details of all incoming and outgoing calls. The time and duration along with the numbers are also recorded. By reviewing the call log, the parent can know the child’s contacts, whether they are good or bad.
  • Call recording: most of the monitoring applications have the call recording facility whereby you can actually listen to the conversation. Even if the child is scared to report the abuse, it is easy to track the caller and nail him with proof of the conversation.
  • Internet History: A record of all the websites visited by the child can be known. The entire web history is recorded even if the child erases the history on the mobile. It is thus possible to know if the child has viewed any inappropriate material.
  • Record of chats and IM messages: With the help of the monitoring spyware, you can view the full contents of the chat windows and SMS messages. By keeping a tab on chats, it is easy to monitor contacts with strangers who may turn out to be pedophiles.
  • E mail log: A detail of every email that has been sent or received through the target mobile phone is recorded, despite the child deleting the messages. You can monitor the child and his contact by reviewing the mail contents.
  • GPS tracking: With this device, it is easy to locate your child. In the unfortunate event of kidnapping or the child getting lost, the GPS device will come to the rescue.
  • Video and Picture log: A parent can view all the photos and videos on the child’s phone. There may be instances when the child may be blackmailed through pornographic content like nude photos or bathroom videos. The abuser would demand undue favors from the child by threatening to expose them on the web. Any child would be scared to report such abuse and give in to the demands. Installation of the software protects the child by exposing such criminals.

This is a guest post from my friend and colleague Sharon Stouffer.  She shares my concerns about finding help for children who are being cyber-bullied.   Her contact information is below.  Please be sure to claim your free report on resources for parents and teachers.  You will find it at CyberBullyingHelp.com

Sharon Stouffer is passionate about Mobile Technology and Applications. Please visit her website about Cell Phone Spy software to follow her updates.

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Effects of Girls Who Bully Other Girls

Bullying can take many different forms especially in a society that values technology so highly. Text bullying and online bullies are quite common. In particular, a girl bullying victims will often be much more subtle in the tactics used.

Queen Bees and Wanna Bees

Girls will usually form groups and use these to their advantage, encouraging a group to gang up on one victim. The Queen Bee is the leader and holds the keys of power to the clique. It is she who dictates what to wear, how to talk, walk and befriend.

The Wanna Bees, the other girls in the clique are in fear of disappointing the leader of the pack.  They are eager to share the power and gain favor in the eyes of the other mean girls in the group.

All girls want to belong to a social group and have friends. Queen Bees, the leader of a clique, can decide their fate in school. It is all about power.

Effects of Cyberbullying

Because students prefer to use phones for texting rather than talking, many texts and messages fly through cyber air about who is in and who is out.

One seventh grade girl told me recently, “None of our fights were face to face, we were too afraid the teacher would catch us. It is easier to fight online, because you feel more powerful. You can also be as mean as you want to on FaceBook. It is kind of fun to “dis” somebody.”

Cyberdramas of Girls

If there is a conflict between teenage couples, surprisingly, the girls will blame the girl and want to “punish her.”  In the Phoebe Prince suicide in Massachusetts, even though  the boy and girl were no longer dating, when he started dating Phoebe, she was bullied and attacked.

The groups will usually pick and choose their members and exclude others, sometimes completely at random.

While it is normal for both girls and boys to form social groups and strong bonds that naturally exclude others, it becomes bullying when power plays over individuals or other groups are involved.

Questions on Girls and Cyberbullying – We welcome comments

  • Why do you think girls turn against each other over the attention of a boy?
  • Do all cultures have cliques of girls?
  • Do you remember a Queen Bee from middle school?
  • Why do you think it is important for a young girl to fit into a group?
  • Is cyberbullying more dangerous than face-to-face bullying?

The Effects Of Bullying On Communities

Friday, August 27th, 2010

The Effects Of Bullying On Communities

Many communities, schools, and neighborhoods are facing the effects of bullying. Gangs and groups having one type of culture harass and fear another.

While it may seem a personal matter, it’s not. Bullying rapidly becomes a problem throughout the whole community, school, neighborhood or organization even while it may seem that just a few people are involved.

There are ways to tell if your community is becoming a target or is feeling the effects of bullying.

Many cultures make for an interesting diversity in a community. When there are "turf wars" it errodes the whole community.

  • One group of individuals has priority over another
  • Selective information or selective invites to community events
  • No one wants to travel the streets or hallways by themselves

Fear of talking about the bullying situation. People would prefer to ignore what is going on or acknowledge that there is a problem.

Those in the group or out of the group are aware of their position within the group itself. When I was doing research for a book on children’s friendships, the kids know exactly who the popular kids, the controversial, the clowns etc are. Outsiders may not know, but those who are in the midst of the situation know the exact pecking order.

Fear Of The Unknown

Bullying comes in many forms but it usually involves fear of one type or another. This can be individual fear or group fear. Many fundamental churches fear the liberal segment of society and vice versa. Rather than communicate what each group has in common, it is easier to pull down or belittle those who do not think, look and act just like us.

Any type of subtle or overt bullying or harassment will not only affect one person or group but also steadily erode the confidence within the community.

Within a larger group you may find that one type of culture or one type of individual is not invited to share in community events, not informed of community events or is positioned on the outskirts of the event.

This is cultural bullying and will involve a whole cultural group of people. Personal or group bullying is similar but can cover differing cultures or peoples but still means one group is trying to show dominant power over another.

Exclusion or Inclusion

Exclusion of an individual can happen to anyone but it’s usually those who don’t conform or do not have a group of their own. We are much more alike than we are different.

While it’s devastating to the growth of community to not appreciate and celebrate diversity, to the individual it can actually be life threatening.

While we may not like or agree with all segments of our community, we do have an obligation to respect them and the choices they make.

Polarizing A Population

If one individual, group or segment of a community is pitted against another, there are no winners. When different “sides” or “points of view” separate rather than come together and agree to disagree, then we have an imbalance of power.

And that is a definition of bullying.

Please feel free to comment or share your thoughts.  This is one way we can get an open dialog going about the effects of bullying on communities. Check out http://cyberbullyinghelp.com/r/bullyingprevention

Cell Phone Texting – Dangers of Cyberbullying

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

The Dangers Of Cell Phone Texting

In today’s modern world, children are starting to use technology earlier and earlier. There are very  few eight year olds who do not know how to send an email, check a profile on FaceBook, or send a text message. They are often teaching the adults in their lives how to text messages.

Before the wide use of cell phones, bullying typically began to escalate around the third grade, peaking by about eighth grade and tapering off in high school.  Those of us who do research and interviews on this subject, find it now starts earlier and lasts much longer.

Cell phone texting and online messages make it easier to cyberbully. Parents need to learn how to deal with this issue.

Cell Phones and Cyberbully

The combination of cyberspace, availability of cell phone and the internet and vulnerable children can be a recipe for disaster. Cell phone texting is one of the things that cyber bullies are using to harm those who they dislike or want to humiliate.

Cyberbullying may carry cruelty to new extremes. Because of the immediacy of cell phones teens who are in a bad mood may post a message they later regret.

There are those who use the cell phone as a weapon to taunt, tease and torture others.  Blasting is a phrase that has been used to describe a “blast” of private information posted online and passed around to a large group of followers.

Sexual Predators Are Looking For Victims

Bullies and sexual predators are taking advantage of these venues to target the younger generation. Everyone knows that young people are very adept at texting.

And while at one time words and fists were used to threaten those that were disliked, now bullies are turning to cell phones and computers as their secret weapons. And these are more effective at causing harm and humiliation than anyone ever dreamed of.

Adults Need  To Learn About The Dangers

One of the scariest things about cyber bullying is that it is hard for parents or other authorities to see or recognize. While a threatening scene in the school hall or cafeteria could have been visible to many, threatening texts are personal and only seen by the person to whom they are sent.

They may leave a child or teen frightened, vulnerable and emotionally scarred.

Empower Youth To Hit Delete

Experts say that most teenagers will not admit to receiving unfriendly or threatening texts because of fear and pride.

They do not want mommy coming to school to back them up; that would be embarrassing and make them more prone to humiliation. And perhaps they are afraid of being hurt if they tell someone.

More young people carry cell phones than ever before, and concern over text messaging safety is becoming more important. There are a few guidelines that should be followed to help keep teenagers safe.

Talk Often To Teens

They should never text personal information such as address, full name, or any other information or pictures that could lead a predator to them. Parents should also make sure that they talk to their children regularly about cyber bullying.

And if a situation becomes serious or threatening messages are sent, the authorities should be notified.

The more open the lines of communication between generations of caring adults, the more likely they are to report any issues.

You can do it, I have confidence in you.

Bullying and Harrassment – Who Are The Victims

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Joan has just moved to a new school in a completely different part of town. Her parents had lost their jobs and their home had been foreclosed, so they were forced to move into a small, crowded apartment. The whole family was in turmoil and she was especially vulnerable.

She was not sure where she would fit in and how she would make new friends. Seventh grade is hard on girls anyway, and she was out of her comfortable element of old neighborhood, basketball team friends and school.

Victims Are Vulnerable

Girls bully by telling rumors, excluding, gossiping,teasing and texting humiliating messages.

Because she dressed in nice clothes that had been her style in the old neighborhood, girls thought she was snooty and called mean names like “Rich B….” and worse.  She became the target and victim of texting, teasing and threats in the hallways as well as the neighborhood.

Bullying Is About Power Imbalance

Before Joan could get a chance to figure out where her home room would be in school, the Queen Bee and her gang of Wannabees had targeted her for abuse. They decided they would teach her the pecking order and how far down the scale she was.

They began an orchestrated attack on Joan by using texting, cyberbullying, pushing, shoving, embarrassment and humiliation. By the end of the first week, Joan felt defeated and depressed.

Bullying Victims

Bullies tend to choose someone who they feel is inferior or insignificant to them in some way and use threatening and harmful tactics to make them cower. Or, they choose someone they feel is superior to them in some way and want to bring them to a lower position and exert their strength, power and authority.

Bullies will often steal from, abuse, trip, threaten, intimidate, call names, or spread rumors about someone that they dislike or that they feel may be threatening their position.

Bullying Facts

The American Psychological Association found in a 2001 study that over 17% of children in grades 6 through 10 had been bullied at some point during that time. Children who have targeted are often too afraid to ask for help from a teacher or parents.

In truth, no one likes a bully. Even those who claim to be friends of a bully are usually merely subjecting themselves to someone that they are fearful of. And most bullies will not hesitate even to turn on their friends, should circumstances necessitate it. At the same time, often the bully is seen as the cool guy in the class. People want to be his friend because they want to be cool, too. It really depends on how harsh the bullying really is. Some bullies just like to appear tough and intimidating while others are not afraid to physically injure those that they dislike.

Bullies Don’t Stop Bullying

Bullying tends to escalate and take place over a long period of time. What may start out as teasing or roughhousing may increase in intensity without intervention. As such, many situations continue and set up a pattern of abuse until it is either stopped by intervention of an adult or bystander.

In Joan’s case, a teacher intervened and got the girls into peer counseling. With the help of a trusted counselor the mean girls were persuaded to allow Joan to teach them some moves on the basketball court.  When they learned that she could benefit their school and them as individuals, they were more accepting  and tolerant.

Thoughts On Bullying and Harassment

  1. Have you ever been bullied or singled out for harassment?
  2. How did you handle it?
  3. Have you ever been part of a group that bullied or harassed another?
  4. What advice would you give to a young person like Joan who is being bullied?
  5. How can you empower yourself when you feel vulnerable?

Thank you for sharing your comments and thoughts.  We welcome you to this community of kind thoughtful people who want respect for all.

You can do it.  I have confidence in you.

Taunting, Teasing and Traumatic Bullying

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Taunting, Teasing and Traumatic

Thousands of children go to school every day full of fear.

They are the targets of bullies whose intended goal is to make their lives miserable. Whether the bullying consists of mental abuse like taunting and teasing or more outwardly acts of physical abuse, most bullies like to have an audience for their ruthless activities.

Their misery and loss of self esteem is often further compounded by the bystander bully, a witness who does nothing to intervene.

Many children are afraid to go to school because of teasing, taunting and bullying.

Without realizing it, those who idly watch can become victims themselves.

Bystander and Witness to The Crime

Whether or not they actually support and encourage the events or simply watch, the bystanders and witnesses are participants.

In many cases, the participation is involuntary and they can become victims too.

Bystanders can make a significant difference in exposing and stopping aggressive acts. However, children will understandably have real fears about interfering with bullies. They might be afraid of embarrassment in front of their peers or of being alienated from social groups. Of course, they may have a good reason to dread becoming a target themselves.

Bystanders Who Do Not Speak Up

As a result, those who witness trauma can suffer as much as the obvious victim from similar anxieties, depression and mental anguish. They will frequent want to be able to stop what is going on, but lack the skills or courage to do so.

They can develop overwhelming guilt and stress from not taking action to end something they know is wrong. It is not unusual to see this stress manifest itself in physical disorders like ulcers or chronic headaches.

Anti Bullying Programs Teach Skills

For this reason, children need be taught and empowered to become involved in stopping these types of actions. They should be instructed in ways they can quietly notify adults to expose those who engage in abusive behavior. They need to know that their best course of action is to seek out someone who can stop the physical and emotional pain.

The whole school, church or organization needs to adopt a policy of respect for all. Empathy is a character trait that should be modeled and taught by adults. Positive social skills need to be encouraged in order for them to become automatic action and a habit for life.

Regardless of whether a student joins in or simply observes, they are involved nonetheless. The bystander bully not only perpetuates unacceptable behavior, but can run the risk of unwittingly being added to the list of those who are abused.

Questions To Think About

  1. 1. Have you ever been a witness to someone bullying someone else and not spoken up because you were afraid?
  2. 2. Later when you had a chance to reflect on the situation, did you wish you had done something to help the victim?
  3. 3. What would you do if you saw a friend being bullied?
  4. 4. What would you do if it was a stranger?
  5. 5. Do you know that if you show signs of compassion or assistance for the victim, the trauma is lessened?

It is not easy to step up when someone is being bullied, but wouldn’t you want someone to come to your assistance if you were being hurt?

You can do it. I have confidence in you.