Monday, November 2, 2009

Bullying Series: Introduction to Bullies and Bullying

Introduction to Bullies and Bullying
For today’s kids, bullying is on the rise. If you are a parent, chances are good that your child knows a bully, has been bullied, or knows other kids who have experienced bullying. To respond effectively to bullies, it’s important to first establish a definition of what bullying means and what drives kids to bully.

What’s considered bullying?
Bullying can include everything from name calling to harassment, pranks, threats, and verbal and physical assaults. These things aren’t just against school policy. They are criminal activities.

Worst states for bullies
According to new bullying statistics, these states report the highest rates of bullying in grades K–12.
1. California
2. New York
3. Illinois
4. Pennsylvania
5. Washington

Bullying is learned behavior
In some cases, the bully is acting on learned behavior. They may have issues at home with an angry parent or parents. In their home environment, the message (spoken or unspoken) may be that violence can be used to solve problems. As a result, their pent up emotions, aggressions and frustrations boil over into aggressive and often violent behavior. When unresolved, these issues can continue on into adulthood. More often than not, bully parents produce kids who are bullies and continue the cycle.

Confronting a bully
When confronted about bullying and asked whether it is appropriate behavior, a young bully will generally admit that this type of activity is wrong. They will then continue bullying—showing the deep roots of the bullying tendency. Someone who is a known bully should be carefully monitored. Those facing bullying in and around school can benefit from advice on dealing with bullies. I’ll discuss this more in upcoming articles.

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