Bullying: What are the answers to the questions?

I did some major research for a children’s bullying story I was writing for the Hamilton Troll series and what wowed me were the statistics. The in-depth research that was done as to the various types of bullying, the various reasons bullies are created, the various reasons bullies attack, but the ‘how to stop the bullying’ simply wasn’t there. Sure there was tell a teacher or parent but how well does that usually go? And there was stand up for yourself, but again, if he’s bigger, how well does that go?  Where are the answers?  This has started quite a stir within myself to write this but I sure would love some insight!

Types of Bullying:

  • Physical – hitting, kicking, etc.
  • Verbal – saying mean things, teasing
  • Indirect – spreading rumors, etc.
  • Social – alienation from groups
  • Intimidation – making the other do things for him
  • Cyber bullying – sending messages, pictures online or text.

bullying-stop-signTypes of Bullies:

  • Sadistic – likes to hurt others
  • Imitative – does what has been done to him
  • Impulsive – does it to belong to a group
  • Accidental – doesn’t realize what he’s doing

Who gets Bullied:

  • Anyone who is different
  • The pretty person
  • The smart person
  • The loner
  • Someone with low self esteem
  • Being in the wrong place at the wrong time

How to Stop Bullying:

  • Tell a teacher or parent
  • Go to the bully’s parents
  • Teach children to not bully
  • Tell the bully to stop
  • Walk away
  • Stay away from bullies

Really? These don’t work! Are you serious? I mean, yes, do these – but here is what I get from all of that:

Tell the teacher – she can’t get involved and even if she does, the bully will just do it again when she’s not looking.

Tell your parent – they say tell the teacher (the circle of life) or they go to the principal which calls the bully in and reprimands him but then he’ll just do it again when no one is looking.

Go to the bully’s parents – it is likely they could be as bad as the bully, how else did he become like this? But worse, the bully gets in trouble at home and takes it out on you when no one is looking the next day.

Teach children not to bully – great advice, but what about the children who are already doing it?  That doesn’t solve the immediate problem although I agree it definitely needs to be done.

Tell him to stop – because if it were that easy wouldn’t bullying be extinct?

Walk away – great idea until you are called a chicken and everyone around laughs. Or worse yet, he follows you.

Stay away from bullies – really? Let’s put together another list. Where does bullying happen?

Where Bullying Happens:

  • Schools
  • Classrooms
  • Cafeteria
  • Playground
  • Hallways
  • On the bus
  • In the park
  • At home
  • On the street
  • On the internet
  • And everywhere in between…

So, if you avoid all of these places you will be fine. Let’s also throw in there: At work, in the board room, on the road in your car, at a club, in a bar, at the store, at church… yes, I’ve even been bullied at church, emotional isolation and a feeling of not belonging.

Bullying happens at every stage of life in every way possible. And it can be severe! It hurts physically, emotionally, spiritually. Bullying changes a person, not for the better, it causes suicide and emotional problems.  It trickles down the line through generations, and it is everywhere you look and the how to stop it message is clearly not working because bullies are smart enough to not let it!

To truly stop a bully they need to be AFRAID to Start it!  They need to know that there are repercussions to their actions.  That it is not accepted, that their parents will not stand up for them, that they will not get away with it, that they are not cool for doing it, that others will not want to be their friend.  They need to KNOW they can’t do it and while educating children now will help, it is not enough.  There is not enough of an ability across the board in every household, in every walk of life to teach every child (even the ones that are already being forgotten and neglected) how to not do it.  And for the bullying children that learned it from their parents…

Stand up to them, together with others, in a kind way, that shows them that they can’t get away with it, that it will not be tolerated, is the only thing I can think of.  But that actually requires our children, even the scared ones and loners, to band together for a common goal, which is completely against their personality (although it would truly help pull them out of their shell in the same exact moment).  Yet, in this world with an everyone-out-for-themselves mentality, how can that happen?

My problem with bullying is two-fold:

1 – it exists

2 – it isn’t stopping – and there are no real answers

bullying

I hope that is not too negative but it is how I feel. I pray the education all of those groups are doing help but it just doesn’t solve the immediate problem and that is the part that is most important – to the bullied.

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15 Comments

  1. bamauthor's Gravatar bamauthor
    August 21, 2013    

    You make excellent points. School districts are spending lots of money on the bullying problem, but they are afraid to confront the perpetrators. That is where the real issue lies!

  2. Sylvia Griffin's Gravatar Sylvia Griffin
    August 23, 2013    

    I’m with you, Kathleen!  I don’t know what the answer is to Bullying!!  But there must be one!  Hugs, Sylvia

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  3. Leigh A. Klug's Gravatar Leigh A. Klug
    September 10, 2013    

    As bullied child all the way from middle school through high school, I object to your comment that the bullied person is not changed ( by bullying ), I believe it has made me a stronger and more compassionate person. I also had the wonderful support of a loving family.

    • September 10, 2013    

      Thank you for your comment, however I don’t believe I ever mentioned that the bullied person is NOT changed by the bullying. In fact, I said “Bullying changes a person, it causes suicide and emotional problems.” meaning that many of those that are put down so often begin to feel that it IS true. I am one of them myself. I felt so scared and so low that the way I expressed myself only left me open to MORE bullying. If I would have had someone stand with me, it would have helped to make me FEEL stronger. If I hadn’t been afraid; it might have been enough to encouraged the bully to stop. I unfortunately, like many, weren’t able to find strength like you did and never had anyone stand by me. Which is why my blog was about teaching other children to stand together. If “the scared ones and loners… band together for a common goal, (this could) …help pull them out of their shell” and give them the opportunity to be proud of themselves and continue to do good things with their lives. And, if bullies didn’t have anyone to bully…

      • Leigh Klug's Gravatar Leigh Klug
        September 11, 2013    

        You make a good point. But you seem to be saying ‘Guess what kids, adults have no idea how to stop this, so it looks like you’re on your own’ surely that’s defeatist. Although, getting enough kids to band together may not be too hard, once you’ve convinced them that EVERYONE deserves protection from bullying ( and not just the people they like). You know, some of the problem is theirs ” oh that’s just so and so, he/she’s weird”.

        • September 11, 2013    

          True. I do agree with the childhood perspectives but disagree on the defeatist attitude. According to the books and websites I’ve done research with there are various organizations putting forth great efforts to teach that bullying isn’t good, and what to do about it, adults are definitely trying, but education takes time and it doesn’t reach everywhere and the education seems one-sided. They teach the bullied to go for help but don’t really address what to do/say to the actual bully. My worry is the children who are the bullies are not being reached because they may very well be the children that have been overlooked, left behind or are in bad situations. Teaching them requires getting to them and their parents and sometimes those situations can become volatile. I worry for the bullied in the now, not the future and while my suggestion also requires education my point is, that type of education will actually reach the children who are in a position to listen and do something about it. The parents who actually care and are there for their children can teach them that everyone (including so and so) deserves protection. If the children are taught that there is safety in numbers the bully won’t have the opportunity. And that was my point, whether it is sound or not.

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    • February 27, 2014    

      Thank you for the message. I’d also like to add to anyone who reads this, my illustrators and I are currently working on our 8th book, Hamilton Troll meets Rudy Rat, and this one is about a bully. I feel the story will educate the youngest of children about the issue in a simple enough way as to not scare but also provide them a fun, happy resolution to the problem that, my hopes, will be carried on and taught as they grow up. More about this book and topic to follow in the upcoming months, including starting a “Troll Patrol” 🙂

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    • March 17, 2014    

      I do hope so. The Rudy Rat book is in production and I am truly hoping it will help spread a message of love for our fellow human beings (and critters) and teach children at a very early age to help one another instead of watching bullying happen.

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