Bullying General information Interventions and Symptoms
Definition of bullying: is a behavior with a purpose to achieve or a desire to control another person. The behavior must include both:
- The intent to hurt or intimidate someone less powerful and
- the behavior is repeated.
Why do bullies have a need to dominate, control, and feel powerful?
- Some, who bully, actually experience others who are intimidating, threatening and exert power or control over them. Therefore, they see themselves as a victim and have a need to gain control.
- Others learn that if they act in certain ways, they can create experiences that provide them rewards. All be it, short term rewards.
Youth who bully are at a greater risk of criminal conviction (60%), substance abuse, suicide, depression, and conduct disorder.
Not getting to the causes of bullying, creates the belief, in students, that school is a threatening environment with harsh interventions. Such an environment can incite a flight or fight reaction by students in stressful situations. Therefore, the most effective interventions focus on helping all students realize the necessity of healthy caring relationships in social situations. Which is accomplished by empowering students, teaching them social skills, and stressing the importance of caring for each other to maintain freedom and democracy.
Teaching students to think about themselves and others in healthy caring relationships can be modeled, included in discussions of literature, history, any talk about role models, and discussion of any a variety of many social situations that result in or could result in choosing different behaviors and strategies. It is important to discuss different options and the immediate and future consequences for different people in different situations for their different choices.
Discussion topics should include topics about: healthy relationships, behavioral choices, rights, empowerment, choice, reciprocity, restorative justice, empathy, when does aggressive behavior become the binding label bully? Young people who begin to use aggression as a behavioral strategy are still learning. - approach them with the role of teaching compassion, caring, healthy relationships.
Remember that choices with respect to social goals are not always congruent with educational goals.
A student is being bullied
- Reluctant to go to school.
- Becomes quiet or withdrawn.
- Develops a stress-related illness such as stomach aches or headaches.
- Behavior changes and becomes more tearful or more aggressive.
- Sleeping or eating habits change.
A student may be the bully
- Avoided by other children.
- Willfully damages property.
- Is cruel to animals or pets.
- Is preoccupied with violence.
Recommendations for Parents if a student is being bullied
- Get in touch with the school even if a student asks you not to.
- Let the student know that you understand.
- Boost your child’s self confidence in other areas of their lives.
Recommendations for Parents if a student is bullying
- Don’t give the student a dose of their own medicine; it teaches them that it’s all right to inflict pain.
- Explain that it’s cruel to others and being cruel is not acceptable.
- Ask the student to imagine what it feels like to be bullied.
- Find ways to boost the student’s opinion of themselves.
- Keep in close touch with others that have social relationships with the student.