By Erica Martin, Contributing Writer
Bullying – it’s a fact of life for many school-aged children, but it doesn’t have to be. This article will provide some information on why bullying happens and what kids and parents can do to stop it.
Why does bullying happen?
There are many reasons children bully other children. A bully may not like the person they’re bullying, they might find bullying fun, they want to feel strong or in control, or they think it will make them popular.
I’m a child who’s being bulled – what can I do to stop it?
If you’re being bullied, there are a few things you can do to stop it. First of all, look the person in the eye and tell them calmly to stop bullying you, or if joking comes easily to you, try to laugh it off – this might catch the person that’s bullying you off guard, because they’re expecting a different response from you. If you don’t feel comfortable confronting the bully, walk away and find an adult you trust to stop the bullying right away. And stay away from the bully, don’t go around them because that will only encourage more bullying.
I’m a parent of a child is being bullied – what can I do to stop it?
First, as a parent you need to know the warning signs that your child is being bullied. If your child comes up to you and tells you he or she doesn’t want to go to school today, when they previously loved going to school, probe further and find out what’s going on. If needed, call your child’s teacher and find out if he or she has noticed anything. You’ll also want to look for other warning signs. These include unexplained injuries, clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry that is lost or destroyed, frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness, changes in eating habits, such as suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.
What can I do to stop bullying on a larger scale?
If your child has been bullied, or knows a child that’s been bullied, encourage your child to be proactive about stopping other kids from being bullied. Children have come up with some great projects to discourage bullying – you can read about one such project here. If you think this is a cause you’d be interested in donating to, click the “donate” button. If you think your child would be interested in starting their own anti-bullying snowball, click on this link.