October is National Bullying Prevention Month
While bullying has always been one of the casual cruelties of adolescence, the ubiquity of smartphones and social media in an era where
45 percent of teens say they’re online “almost constantly” has only made the phenomena more inescapable.
A new survey released by The Pew Research Center recently reveals that a majority of teens have experienced some form of cyberbullying. According to the survey, 60% of girls and 59% of boys “have experienced at least one of six abusive online behaviors” which include:
- offensive name-calling
- physical threats
- spreading of false rumors
- having explicit images of them shared without their consent
- receiving explicit images they didn’t ask for
- having someone other than a parent constantly ask where they are, who they’re with, or what they’re doing.
National statistics tell the story.
- 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 have been bullied
- 20% of U.S. students in grades 9–12 have experienced bullying
- 30% of young people admit to bullying others
- 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools
- 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying
When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.
Cyberbullying is on the rise…
9% of students in grades 6–12 experienced cyberbullying. 15% of high school students (grades 9–12) were electronically bullied in the past year
However, 55.2% of LGBTQ students experienced cyberbullying
The general definition of bullying includes an imbalance of power, repetition, and intent to cause some form of harm. Everyone should know the warning signs – and understand the importance of intervention.
WARNING SIGNS OF BULLYING:
- Reluctance to go to school
- Frequent lost or damaged items
- Difficulty focusing
- Change in academic performance
- Increased anxiety, depression, irritability
Some Myths about bullying:
MYTH: You will know if your child is being bullied
FACT: Many children fear telling because they believe it will lead to more bullying so they hide their feelings.
MYTH: Bullies come from the top of the pecking order
FACT: Bullies often feel insecure themselves, and social gain is often the driving force.
Parents need to be strategic in their response to their children. Some tips include asking open ended questions, validating feelings, and assessing what the most effective response to the situation may be.
“Kids Empowered offers programs and training to empower children, parents and professionals to deal with unfriendly classmates and friends, bullying, relational aggression and to build confidence, emotional intelligence, character, leadership, self-esteem, fitness and social skills. Kids Empowered has facilitated events & programs for more than 200,000 kids, parents, and teachers since 1998.”
The damaging effects of bullying are far-reaching and increasing every day. Learn what you can do to identify bullying, stop bullying behaviors, and help those who are being bullied.
About the Author
“I was fortunate to have the type of childhood that provided enough baggage that would require me to pay extra at any airline counter. Although I did not always appreciate my luggage, once I began to unpack it, the “Growth Gifts” inside became the foundation for my lifelong journey to grow, learn, and serve.
For the past 27 years, I’ve been a therapist working with individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. I have expertise in premarital counseling, divorce recovery, anxiety, and depression, and specialize in relationships and communication – including the relationship you have with yourself. I’m passionate about my own growth and dedicated to providing safety and the non-judgmental space necessary for your sacred journey of personal growth.
Unfortunately, we are not taught to care for our mental health individually, or in relationships, without stigma or shame. I remain committed to my mission to teach the value of growing in every area of life, so you may unpack your baggage and grow!”
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