Did you know that is is estimated that 160,000 school children stay home from school each and every day for fear of being bullied?
Current statistics suggest more than a third of all school age kids will be bullied at least once by the time they graduate high school.
And if these numbers don’t scare you – sit down because I think they are substantially understated. I believe the REAL bullying numbers are probably more like 60-75%. While I can’t factually prove these numbers, I have lots of personal experience working with kids and I can tell you many kids never report bullying to another adult or even their parents.
The #1 reason given?
Children often feel like there is no one who can help them!
This month, during our mat chats, I am going to highlight the main themes of how to deal with bullies in a non-confrontational kind of way. The more informed our kids are, the better equipped they will be to deal with bullies in and out of school.
Here are the main discussion points for this month:
Definition of bullying
It’s important that our children realize that bullying is a REPEATED action. Just because little Johnny is mean to Susie one day doesn’t necessarily mean he is being a bully. But if he repeatedly taunts her, than the action would be defined as bullying.
4 Types of bullying
Physical – hitting, spitting, pushing, tripping, etc.
Verbal – calling someone names, commenting on the way they look, dress, act.
Cyber – spreading gossip, rumors, pictures or video of someone that would be considered embarrassing or shaming to that person.
Social – excluding someone from a group, a game, etc.
Verbal – bullies look to pick on kids for primarily two reasons. Either the child looks weak or they get a significant emotional response out of them. When someone calls you names or taunts you, the best advice is really just to ignore them. In most instances, a bully that doesn’t get any response after a few days of taunting will normally get bored and move onto someone else.
Physical – avoidance is always the number #1 goal. If you are aware, you should be able to see potential trouble before it ends up in your lap. If you see a bully approaching, walk to the other side of the hallway, or room, or head in the opposite direction and seek the safety of an adult.
In the worst case scenario in which the bully attacks the victim, it’s important the victim remembers to protect him or herself, but not engage in a fight. There is a big difference between throwing a punch versus putting your hands up and executing a block to protect your body or head. (Think Star Block form).
Cyber – do your best to avoid compromising positions or situations where someone can take a quick photo or video and send it out to his or her friends. Again, better to ignore a text and not respond to it.
If you are a victim of a viral photo or video, it is best that you immediately show one of your parents and let them help you take the right course of action.
Social – there isn’t much that can be done when you are socially excluded, especially when you are new to a school or town. The best advice is to use kindness and generosity and make as many new friends as possible so that they can help include you more.
Regardless of the form of bullying, students should immediately seek the help of another adult when they have been bullied. It’s VERY important to teach them to remember who did the bullying, where it happened, what time it was and if there were any other kids around to witness it.
As parents, it’s important to document every occurrence of bullying and be prepared to share it with the school or local authorities. Be sure to document every bit of communication pertaining to your child’s bullying. Eventually, you might need to present the documents to local school officials if you don’t get enough satisfaction from the teachers or principals.
These are the above topics we will be discussing all month. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.
Since opening the doors to SKS, I have worked with hundreds of children teaching them non-violent ways to deal with bullies. If you or someone you know is a victim of bullying, please don’t wait. I offer one-on-one coaching services that usually gets the situation resolved to everyone’s satisfaction in a reasonable period of time.