By Sergeant Nathalie Ranger
Bullying is the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone, typically to force them to do something.
What are the different types of bullying?
· Physical bullying can involve hitting, kicking, pinching, pushing or otherwise attacking others.
· Verbal bullying refers to the use of words to harm others with name-calling, insults, making sexual or prejudiced comments, harsh teasing, taunting or verbal threats.
· Relational bullying focuses on excluding someone from a peer group, usually through verbal threats, spreading rumours and other forms of intimidation.
· Reactive bullying involves the bully responding to being a former victim by picking on others.
· Bullying can also involve assault on a person’s property, when the victim has his or her personal property taken or damaged.
· Cyber bullying is the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
What kind of people normally bully others?
· Generally, those who bully others are looking for superiority over others. That is why they focus on something unique about you and create a feeling of insecurity with the intention of hurting you.
· It is their past or current situation of life that turns a person to bully others. Those who bully have experienced a very stressful or traumatic situation in their life. Some people who do not know how to positively respond to stress or trauma may turn to violence and bullying.
· The person who bullies, often feels their family and friends do not have enough time to spend with them. A violent family environment also leads to a person becoming a bully.
· Just to feel popular and seen as tough or cool can also lead to act of bullying. Some people may also learn to bully from others.
· The person who experience bullying, is more likely to bully others. They bully others to protect themselves from being bullied.
· The bully has low self- esteem. So they put others down in order to get superiority. Bullies usually do not have any particular talent. So they make fun of others.
· But there are some bullies that do not fit in any of the above criteria. They just bully others because of their ego.
What kind of people are bullied?
· A person who is good at what they do
· Intelligent, Determined, and Creative
· Few or no friends
· Popular or well liked
· Physical features that attract attention
· An illness or disability
· Sexual orientation
· Religious or cultural beliefs
What should you do if a bully approaches you?
Bullies lose their power if you do not cower. Deep down, they doubt they deserve your respect. They admire you for speaking with self-assurance and confidence. So when they bombard, do not counterpunch. Rather, win them over with your strong, firm, courteous demeanour.
Bullies operate by making their victims feel alone and powerless. Use Simple, Unemotional Language.
An assertive, but unemotional response lets a bully know the victim does not intend to be victimized. It does not seek forgiveness, but does not pose a challenge either.
The trick is to remain polite and professional while still setting your limits firmly. Do not let the bully get under your skin that is what they want. Practice your response so you are prepared the next time something happens and you can respond swiftly without getting emotional. Keep it simple and straightforward.
Act quickly and consistently.
The longer a bully has power over a victim, the stronger the hold becomes. Oftentimes, bullying begins in a relatively mild form name calling, teasing, or minor physical aggression. After the bully has tested the waters and confirmed that a victim is not going to tell an adult and stand up for his rights, the aggression worsens.
How to Prevent Bullying
Parents, school staff and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying.
Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help. Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school and understand their concerns.
Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behaviour. Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help. ·Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. The adult can give comfort, support, and advice, even if they cannot solve the problem directly. Encourage the child to report bullying if it happens.
Talk about how to stand up to bullies. Give tips, like using humour and saying “stop” directly and confidently. Talk about what to do if those actions do not work, like walking away · Talk about strategies for staying safe, such as staying near adults or groups of other kids. Urge them to help kids who are bullied by showing kindness or getting help.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
People do look to others who they look up to for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem. Start conversations about daily life and feelings with questions like these:
· What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
· What is lunch time like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
· What is it like to ride the bus to school?
· What are you good at? What do you like best about yourself?
Talking about bullying directly is an important step in understanding how the issue might be affecting a person. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but it is important to encourage others to answer them honestly. Assure kids them that they are not alone in addressing any problems that arise.
Start conversations about bullying with questions like these:
· What does “bullying” mean to you?
· Describe what someone who bully is like. Why do you think people bully?
· Who are the adults you trust most when it comes to things like bullying?
· Have you ever felt scared to go to school or work because you were afraid of bullying? What ways have you tried to change it?
· What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
· Have you or your friends left others out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
· What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
· Do you ever see someone being bullied? How does it make you feel?
· Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?
There are simple ways that parents and caregivers can keep up-to-date with kids’ lives.
· Read class newsletters and school flyers. Talk about them at home.
· Check the school website Go to school events. Meet teachers and counsellors
· Share phone numbers with other kids parents
Encourage Kids to Do What They Love
Help kids take part in activities, interests, and hobbies they like. Kids can volunteer, play sports, sing in a chorus, or join a youth group or school club. These activities give kids a chance to have fun and meet others with the same interests. They can build confidence and friendships that help protect kids from bullying. Model How to Treat Others with Kindness and Respect
Kids learn from adults actions. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show the kids in their lives that there is no place for bullying. Even if it seems like they are not paying attention, kids are watching how adults manage stress and conflict, as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families.