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.
- 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:
- 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
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.