Victorville Tae Kwon Do

760-955-1119

Locations

      Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Bullying

      Today’s parents don’t have to look very far to find examples of bullying. It seems as if stories of bullying can be read about in the newspaper or seen on TV almost every day.

      However, the subject of bullying can be challenging to approach with children. Whether a child is in preschool or a senior in high school, parents want to ensure that their kids are safe and confident enough to stand up to bullies. These simple tips can make having the conversation about bullying a little easier.

       

      Define Bullying

      When parents try to talk to young children about bullying, many kids might not even understand what that word actually means. Other children believe that harassment needs to be physical before it can be classified as bullying.

      If parents want to open the lines of communication about bullying, it’s important for kids to understand what all is incorporated into that term. Bullying can consist of:

      • Repeated verbal insults
      • Continuing threats
      • Physical actions like pushing, hitting or kicking
      • Social manipulation such as purposeful exclusion or spreading rumors
      • Cyberbullying through texts, websites or social media
      • Other repeated activities that make a student feel threatened and unsafe

      Ask the Right Questions

      It’s usually not easy for children and teens to talk about bullying with their parents. Bullying can make students feel helpless, so they might not feel comfortable asking for assistance from parents or teachers.

      Asking the right questions can be integral in helping students be honest about what’s happening. Instead of asking them if they are being bullied, try asking “What’s the best thing that happened to you at school today?”, “What’s the worst thing that happened to you at school today?” or “Who do you sit with at lunch time and play with at recess?”

      The answers to these questions can provide helpful insights into a student’s day to day life at school.

       

      Keep Communication Open

      Even if a child isn’t being bullied currently, his situation could change drastically next week.

      That’s one of the many reasons why it’s so important for parents to keep the lines of communication open with their children. Every conversation doesn’t need to be serious and teaching major life lessons.

      When kids and teens feel comfortable sharing the little details of their days with their parents, they will be more apt to come to their parents when larger issues like bullying arise.

      Categories:
      No Comments

      What is Bystander Mobilization?

      Coorperation

      Bullying and harassment among children and teens have become a hot-button issue in contemporary society as a rash of suicides have swept the country. The victims may feel like they have nowhere to turn and act out by harming themselves.

      In response to this crisis, an emerging practice that empowers other students to put an end to bullying has started gaining traction. While bystander mobilization might be encouraged by teachers and other adult authority figures, the ability to put a stop to bullying is left in the hands of the students.

       

      The Bystander Effect

      Students often feel powerless to stop a peer who they witness bullying others. In the moment, they may fear that speaking up will turn the bully’s attention on them. As such, they don’t take any action, especially if there are other students watching the bullying occur.

      This is referred to as the “bystander effect,” in which people do not go out of their way to help others in distress when there are other witnesses to an event. In instances of bullying, bystanders – especially children – don’t want to get involved and single themselves out.

      Afterward, they may feel upset, stressed or guilty over what happened, even if they were only watching what was going on.

       

      Bystander Mobilization

      Bystander mobilization is a way of turning that weakness into a form of strength. It asks witnesses to call out the bully and his or her behavior during the act itself, whether it’s taking place in front of them, down the hall or even online.

      The child is encouraged to address the victim and make sure that they are all right, while also pointing out that the actions of the bully are wrong to other children watching. In some instances, they may encourage other bystanders to leave so that the bully doesn’t have an audience and thus the attention they crave.

      When one person speaks out, it becomes easier for others watching to speak out against the bully.

       

      Bystander Mobilization – it takes courage and ethics

      Stepping forward and showing a bully that their behavior is damaging and dangerous takes courage, but it can be immensely rewarding for children of all ages. By addressing the act of bullying in the moment, they can help de-escalate and stop harassment before it causes long-term physical or psychological harm.

      Bystander mobilization can also give children and teens greater experience with confidence and empathy, making it less likely that they will simply ignore bullying that they witness in the future.

       

      Categories:
      No Comments

      Bullying and depression

      Bullying and depression often go hand in hand for both the victims as well as the bullies. People who experience cyber bullying are at an even greater risk of developing clinical depression.

      Fortunately, there are ways that parents can take action by being attentive to the warning signs and helping their children learn ways to stand up for themselves and develop strong self-esteem.

       

      Links Between Bullying and Depression

      Psychologists and child development experts have established many links between bullying and depression in children. The depression that results from being bullied may last for many years and can even linger after the bullying behaviors are stopped.

      Children who have experienced cyber bullying may develop more serious symptoms of depression, especially if the bullying is perpetrated by anonymous individuals.

      Some of the additional effects of being bullied include:fear-of-failure

      • Anxiety
      • Physical illness, aches and discomfort
      • Low self-esteem
      • Decreased participation in extra-curricular activities and hobbies
      • Increased absence rate from school

       

      Symptoms of Depression in Children

      While some of the symptoms of depression in children are similar to the symptoms that adults experience, children may also react in other ways. Children may show more physical symptoms of depression.

      Signs parents, caregivers and teachers should look for in the victims of bullying include:

      • Unexplained outbursts of crying or anger
      • Changes in sleep patterns, including increased sleepiness or insomnia
      • Not being able to concentrate on school work or tasks
      • Sudden changes in appetite or eating habits
      • Increased tiredness, fatigue and slow movement
      • Giving away of favorite or prized possessions
      • Withdrawing from social situations
      • Increased restlessness and anxiousness
      • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
      • Increased talk of death and mentions of suicide

       

      Taking Action to Prevent Bullying

      Frequent communication with a child who is experiencing bullying is key to identifying the symptoms of depression. Parents along with teachers and other professionals can take steps to prevent bullying and depression that follows.

      Physicians and school counselors can help parents and children gain access to the care and resources they need for overcoming the effects of bullying. In some cases, individual or family counseling may be recommended.

      Any parent or professional who feels that their child is in immediate danger should treat the situation as a medical emergency and contact the appropriate local authorities for urgent assistance.

      Bullying does not have to be a rite of passage for children if parents and teachers take action to end it.

       

      Categories:
      No Comments

      How to Help Bullied Children

      bullying_1

       

      The elephant in the room today is the bullying and depression experienced by many school children. Bullying has been around for centuries, but in the modern world, the opportunities for even anonymous bullying abound. How can parents help their children if they suspect they are the victims of bullying at school?

      There are a variety of opinions regarding the best way to respond to a bully. The old-fashioned way was to hit the bully back. Today, a youngster who responds to emotional or physical bullying at school with retaliatory violence often finds themselves punished. There are several predominant ideas for responding appropriately to a bully:

      • Enlist the help of the bully’s parents or a teacher at school
      • Travel with other friends instead of being alone
      • Seek counseling to find support until the issue is resolved
      • Have the victim enroll in a martial arts class to gain confidence in facing large, aggressive bullies

      Overall, no one else can force the bully to stop their behavior. There could and should be significant consequences for their actions; however, no guarantees exist that bullies will learn their lesson. Therefore, the focus generally needs to remain with the victim of the bullying.

      A child experiencing bullying may exhibit behavior such as unexpectedly crying or bursting out in anger. They may suddenly lose interest in activities that they used to love to participate in. A previously healthy child may complain of aches and pains with no identifiable physical cause. Appetites might change. Grades that were excellent may plummet.

      Obviously, any of the above occurrences would cause a parent to be concerned for the well-being of their child. The best defense in this case is an offense of love, concern, attention and a listening ear. The effects of bullying, whether cyber, physical or emotional, can be devastating in a developing youngster.

      Bullying and depression do not go away by themselves. If the bullying is occurring on school grounds and officials are not responding in helpful ways, it may be time to find a different education option. If the bullying is online, then perhaps it is time to help the child find other means of communicating with their friends. The most important thing a bullied child needs is continually expressed and demonstrated parental love.

      Categories:
      No Comments