Keep Bullies at Bay

Bullies Can Have a Big Impact on Your Child’s Success in School

Bullying is a pattern of unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children where one child uses control over another. 

Bullies often pick on someone over whom they think they can have power. Many bullies act this way to gain attention. They might think bullying is a way become more popular, more important or to get something they want.

Common bullying behaviors include:

  • Saying mean things or making fun
  • Name-calling, threatening, teasing, scaring or coercing
  • Leaving a kid out of a group on purpose
  • Hitting, kicking or pushing another child 

  • How many kids are affected?

      Fifty percent of students report having bullied someone in the past.

      Forty seven percent of kids said that they have been “bullied, teased or taunted in a way that seriously upset them.”  (Josephson Institute, 2010).

  • What are signs a child is being bullied?

      Children and teens who are bullied have an increased likelihood of missing school, skipping classes or dropping out.

      Signs of a bullied child include:

      - Increased feelings of sadness and loneliness—even depression and anxiety

      - Declines in school achievement, such as lower grades or test scores

      - Changes in sleep and eating patterns

      - Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy

      - Health complaints such as headaches and stomachaches

  • How should my child deal with a bully?

      Here are some ideas to share with your child if he is experiencing problems with a bully:

      - Don't give the bully a chance. As much as possible, avoid the bully. Take a different route to class to avoid him, and ignore the behavior if you do have to be around the bully.

      - Stand tall and be brave. You can’t always avoid it entirely, but sometimes just acting brave is enough to stop a bully. Stand tall and you'll send the message: "Don't mess with me." Tell the bully, "No! Stop it!" in a loud voice. Then walk away or run if you have to.

      Don’t walk alone. Make a plan to walk with a friend or two on the way to school, lunch or wherever you might meet the bully. Offer to do the same if a friend is having bully trouble.

      Don't bully back. Don't hit, kick or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back satisfies a bully and it's dangerous, too, because someone could get hurt.

      Tell an adult. The most important thing you can do if you or someone you know is being bullied is to tell a trusted adult. Teachers or administrators are often unaware that bullying is happening.

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