Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Mean Over and over On purpose
Types of Bullying
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Threatening to cause harm
- Taking or breaking someone's things
- Makin mean or rude hand gestures
- Leaving someone out on purpose
- Telling other children not to be friends with someone
- Spreading rumors about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
How to Deal
- Tell an adult!
- Walk away.
- Speak out.
- Stand up.
- Stop bullying on the spot!
- Be more than a bystander.
- Don't give bullying an audience.
- Set a good example.
- Help them get away.
- Be a good friend.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology used to tease, humiliate, and harass someone. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
How to Deal
- Don't respond online.
- Document the attack.
- Report the attack.
- Protect yourself!
- Know your "friends."
- Protect your accounts.
- Keep private information private.
What Can We Do As Counselors and Parents? What the counselor can do for the target:
- Encourage the students to report, explaining the difference in reporting vs. snitching
- Role play responses to bullying situations
- Set up small groups for targets with social skills emphasis
- Model assertive communication
- Connect with positive support systems such as mentors
- Start a yoga/fitness/or book club
- Encourage involvement in extra-curricular activities
What parents can do for the target:
- Communicate daily with your child about their day, really listening to the message
- Provide a safe, private place to talk
- Do not trivialize their problems by comparing the problems to your own
- Assist your child in reporting the bullying behaviors to the school
- Check your child's Facebook and cellphone
- Teach your child to block unwanted messages and copy, print, and save
What the counselor can do for the bully:
- Conduct groups that focus on relational aggression and building positive relationships
- Develop parent education sessions for dealing with bullies
- Set up a mentor program with the high school
- Seek to understand what is behind the bully behavior
- Teach problem solving or conflict resolution skills
- Practice using assertive, positive communication skills
- Get high risk students off campus to expose them to opportunities in the community
- Teach empathy and how to repair and rebuild relationships
What parents can do for the bully:
- Check child's cellphone and social media outlets
- Take away cellphone if negative drama is discovered and allow use of cellphone if positive interactions with peers occur
- Model positive, healthy relationships with your own friends
- Know what your child is watching, listening to, and reading
- Discuss reality television with your child
- Teach THINK: Is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary, Kind?
- Give your child real, true examples of cyberbullying as well as consequences of misuse of technology
- Be explicit with non-negotiable expectations
What the counselor can do for the bystander/upstander:
- Provide a safe and confidential haven for upstanders
- Teach bystanders how to help without putting themselves in harm's way
- Model effective strategies in teachable moments
- Video scenarios demonstrating how to be an upstander
- Incorporate empathy in guidance lessons
What the parents can do for the bystander/upstander:
- Encourage and celebrate when your child stands up for others
- Model healthy conflict resolution
- Communicate with school regarding incident reporting
- Teach your child that sitting back passively can implicate her/him as a bully supporter