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What Parents Need to Know About Bullying

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1 What Parents Need to Know About Bullying
Parent Workshop Presented by Gretchen Vassar, School Counselor

2 4 Corners Warm Up Activity
Bullying can start in pre-school. There should be a family list of rules for proper etiquette guidelines for your child’s cyber communication with friends. Bullying/teasing isn’t serious, it’s simply a matter of “kids being kids.” In order to build awareness of our own opinions, values, beliefs, actions, etc…. We are going to do a brief activity. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree

3 Bullying – Fact or Fiction?
1. Nearly one-third of American teens are involved in bullying. True: In a recent survey, 13% admit to bullying, 11% admit to being bullied, and 6% have been bullied and also bully others. 2. Less than 10% of American teens admit to bullying others. False: See above 3. Students who are bullied in school are usually attentive students with good attendance. False: Students targeted by bullies sometimes avoid school or have trouble concentrating. They sometime suffer from depression and anxiety. 4. Most students who bully are insecure. False: Studies show that most bullies have confidence and high self-esteem. 5. Contrary to stereotypes, male bullies are not usually bigger and physically stronger than their peers. False: Male bullies are usually bigger and stronger than their victims. 6. Students who witness bullying often refuse to remain friends with the victim and feel guilty for not reporting the incident. True: Witnessing an act of bullying has negative consequences even if you are not directly involved. 7. Bullies have trouble making friends. False: Bullies seem to make friends easily, particularly with other students who are aggressive and may join them in bullying. 8. Bullies do poorly in school compared to others who do not bully. True: The problem behaviors associated with bullying include impulsiveness, disliking school and getting in trouble often. 9. Most bullies discontinue violent or aggressive behavior in adulthood. False: 60% of bullies have at least one criminal conviction because the behavior carries over into adulthood. 10. If you are being bullied it’s best to handle it alone. False: Putting an end to bullying requires a commitment from everyone in a school, including teachers, custodians, students, administrators, cafeteria workers and crossing guards. You should seek adult intervention and try to stay among friends if you are being bullied. Sources:

4 As defined by state law SHB 1444 and ISD policy 3214
What is Bullying? Bullying is… As defined by state law SHB 1444 and ISD policy 3214 An intentional written, verbal or physical act, including but not limited to one shown to be motivated by any characteristic such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability, or other distinguishing characteristics, when the intentional act: (a) Physically harms a student or damages his/her property; (b) Substantially interferes with the student’s education; or (c) Is so severe, persistent or pervasive that it creates an intimidating or threatening educational environment; or (d) Or substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a school

5 Simply stated, bullying…
Hurtful words or actions Deliberate Repeatedly occurs Occurs in a relationship in which there is an imbalance of power (May include face-to-face, subtle and indirect ways, texting, IMing, Facebook, exclusion, etc.) We as parents/educators need to be vigilant and proactive in helping our children understand conflict, confusing emotions, and how to be socially competent. Cyberbullying can be done anonymously, which makes it easier for one child to hurt another and not be help accountable or see the impact of his or her actions. Because this technology reaches wider audience than just the person who is targeted, its effects can be devastating.

6 3 Criteria for Bullying Incident:
Intentional harm – this means the person “did it on purpose” Carried out repeatedly – it is not just a one time incident, it happens again and again Relationship where there is an imbalance of power – one person is “calling all the shots”

7 The 3 types of Bullying

8 The three types with examples
Physical Bullying Verbal Bullying Relationship Bullying Hitting, Kicking, or Pushing someone Stealing, Hiding or ruining someone's things Making someone do something he or she doesn't want to do Name calling Teasing Insulting Refusing to talk to someone/ Excluding Spreading lies and rumors about someone Making someone feel left out or rejected/ Excluding Research shows that gender roles are making a difference in how we define bullying or mean behavior. Teasing is often part of growing up—almost every child experiences it. But is isn’t always as innocuous as it seems. Words can cause pain. Relational Aggression: lies, rumors, betrayal (breaking an agreement), exclusion, humiliation. With girls, bullying is often more subtle and indirect (covert)… insidious at times. Instead of snatching a toy from another child, a young girl might say, “Give me that toy or I won’t be your friend anymore.” Older girls can be mean without saying a word directly to the person: by telling other girls not to be friends with a particular girl, giving her the silent treatment, rolling their eyes in class, or making rude noises. Girls make hurtful remarks and then pretend they didn’t mean it by saying “just kidding”. Boys, on the other hand, tend to be more physical. Boys push each other or take someone’s things and put it somewhere else, but they typically don’t hold grudges. Gender may make a difference.

9 Bullying is NOT… A normal childhood activity A rite of passage
The target’s fault

10 Differentiating Bullying from Normal Peer Conflict/Mean Behavior
Normal conflict/mean behavior Equal power or are friends Happens occasionally Accidental Not serious Equal emotional reaction Not seeking power Remorse-will take responsibility Effort to solve the problem Teasing Bullying Imbalance of power Repeated negative actions Intentional Physical or emotional harm Unequal emotional reaction Seeking control/material things No remorse-blames target No effort to solve the problem Teasing is a part of growing up. Kids poke fun at each other…it’s what they do. Our instinct as parents/educators may be to immediately stop the behavior and try to protect our children from it, but in fact, some teasing is critical to our children’s social development. Teasing is misunderstood because it is often confused with bullying, which has a strictly negative impact. Remember the intent is how we distinguish between the two. If kids joke about a child’s shoes, that’s different from focusing on something much harder to control, such as being overweight. Goal of teasing: create closer relationship/conncetion Goal of bullying: to harm (gain greater social status) A line between teasing and bullying blurs again when the child being teased doesn’t know how to respond. Everyone has a different set of boundaries and that’s confusing for children. Many times children don’t realize they are being a bully—we have to help our children. Children do not begin to understand empathy on their own most of the time. It is a skill that needs to be taught.

11 The Roles of Bullying Bully Behavior- Child exhibiting bullying behavior. Ex. Hitting, pushing, shoving, threatening, hurtful teasing, manipulating, spreading rumors, name calling, excluding, eye rolling, controlling, etc. Target/Victim- The target is the child who another child is exhibiting bully behavior toward. The victim is the child continually being bullied. Don’t let the target become the victim! Bystander- The person watching or seeing the bullying happen. Choosing to ignore the bullying is the same as supporting it. Wheel Transparency/Handout At one time every child will be the target of a bullying behavior. We need to teach them how to keep them from becoming victims. Show Roles of Bullying Handout/poster The Bystander has the most power.

12 The Target Who Has Become The Victim: Signs and Symptoms

13 The Victim Signs and Symptoms
Appears afraid or reluctant to go to school in the morning, complaining repeatedly of headaches or stomach aches. Chooses an “illogical” route for going to and from school. Bed wetting Refusing to participate in extra-curricular activities. Has bad dreams or cries in his sleep. Suddenly change the way he/she talks: “I’m a loser, or a former friend “is a jerk”. Appears sad or depressed, or shows unexpected mood shifts and sudden outbursts of temper. Seems socially isolated. Over or under eating Some cases are extreme….unexpected mood shifts/ not wanting to go to school

14 The Child Exhibiting Bully Behavior

15 The Bully Signs and Symptoms
Has a strong need to dominate and subdue others. Asserts himself, uses power and threats to get his own way. Intimidates his siblings or kids in the neighborhood. Brags about his actual or imagined superiority over other kids. Is hot tempered, easily angered, impulsive, and has low frustration tolerance. Has difficulty conforming to rules and tolerating advice. Oppositional, defiant, and aggressive behavior toward adults, teacher and parents. Gender can make a difference

16 Bullying begins in the elementary school …
Peaks in the middle school… Usually lessens in senior high. However, extreme cases occasionally can become more severe in senior high.

17 What to do if you are a parent of “the victim”…
The big question is: When and how do you intervene in a problem that your CHILD has? Say your child comes to you and says another child (with whom he’s grown up) in the neighborhood has been bothering him/teasing/embarrassing, etc. Be paitent! First, you have to stop your natural inclination to hate that other child. Ask yourself, is anyone going to be seriously hurt in the next 30 minutes? If yes, get moving. If no, sit still and think about how you are going to teach your child to treat themselves and others with dignity through this experience. In any way your child can, he/she needs to take the bad feeling in stomach and put them into words. Draw, journal, act it out--- whatever the most natural way for him/her. Next help her to think through when and where she should speak to the other child. It might not be the way you would handle something—but it is they way your child will develop social competency and from there, self esteem. You say, “I’m sorry, thank you for telling me, and together we will work on this.” Don’t make a promise that you won’t do anything. Tell them you will talk through a strategy with them.

18 How to Help Your Child Listen to your child with your ears and eyes.
Give your child space to talk. “I’m so sorry. That must be really painful.” Keep communication open. Help your child problem solve. Role play Practice techniques Give your child lines that she/he can use. Remind your child that if they are a witness or a bystander, they are encouraging the behavior to continue. Get help by the teacher, counselor, or administrator if needed. If your child tells you her classmates called her ugly, don’t just jump in to reassure her that she’s beautiful. As soon as you do that, you’ve let her be victimized. Instead, listen to what she says, and then help her come up with a plan to address it the next time it happens. Remember self esteem building is huge! Do some investigating: If you want more information, don’t ask your child directly if he’s being teased. Instead ask a question that can be answered in the second or third person. How do kids joke around these days? Or what is teasing like for kids today? Open ended questions: Are there any cliques at school? What do you think about them?

19 Strategies to Teach your Child
Self Talk Teach your child to say to him/herself things like, “I can handle this” “ I can walk away” “This isn’t true” “I am a good person” I can handle this.

20 Ignore Displays of anger or tears often invite more teasing.
Teach your child to not look at the bully and walk away. Teach him/her to pretend that nothing has happened. If need be, say nothing and walk toward an adult. This strategy does not work with prolonged bullying. Hold the anger. It’s natural to get upset, but that’s what the teaser/bully is thriving on. Practice cool down startgies…. Wear a “poker face” Avoiding is not the same as running. Change the subject.

21 Use I- Messages This allows your child to assertively and effectively express their feelings. I feel _____________ (emotion) When ________________ (action) Because ______________ (reason) What you want to happen? I feel upset When you make fun of my pants because it makes me feel sad. I would like you to stop! When you push me, I feel annoyed. Please stop.

22 You’re funny looking. You have a lot of freckles.
Agree Agreeing with the bully is one of the easiest ways to handle an insult. This usually eliminates the feeling of wanting to hide or cry. Also no one can fight with someone who agrees with them. Thank You, You are right, I do have a lot of freckles. Ask questions! Do you really think…? Why? Really? You are so stupid. You mean I’ve been wasting all these years thinking I’m smart when I’m actually stupid. Thanks for wising me up.

23 Give a Standard Answer Teach your child statements to use ‘in the moment.’ This way when your child is caught off guard, he/she will have something to say. Try something like: “So.” “…And your point is?” “Thanks for your opinion.” Smile and shrug shoulders without making a comment at all. And your point is?

24 Use Compliments Using compliments may throw the bully off and he/she won’t know what to say. If your child is being teased about the way he runs …. Respond with … “ I agree, I can’t run as fast as you. You are a good runner.” You have a great way with words! You’re a real jerk. Why, thank you. What a kind thing to say. Oh! You have cooties. What a sweet thing to say. I didn’t know you liked me so much. I must be smarter than you “cause you’re in that class for dumb people”. That’s wonderful. The world needs all the smart people it can get. Your mother looks like a cow! I’m not surprised to hear that. She always has been a sylish woman.

25 Use Humor Laughing can often turn a hurtful situation into a funny one. Someone says, “That is the ugliest jacket I’ve ever seen.” Response: “Thank You, my mom and I tried very hard to find the ugliest jacket. I’ll tell her we did it.”

26 Ask For Help At times, seeking help from an adult is the only thing that can be done and should be done. Talk to your child about a safe person

27 is trying to get someone is trying to get someone
Tell An Adult Tattling is trying to get someone into trouble. Telling is trying to get someone out of trouble. (or help them)

28 Please Do Not … Confront the bully or the bully’s parents.
Tell your child to “get in there and fight.” Blame your child. It’s not their fault. Promise to keep the bullying a secret. Calling another parent directly can be tricky unless he or she is a close friend. It’s easy to find yourself in a he said/she said argument. If you do contact the parent--- try to do it in person. Set the stage for a colloborative approach

29 What to Do If Your Child is acting like the Bully…

30 Teach your child to recognize and express emotions nonviolently or non-aggressively.
One thing bullies and their victims have in common is ANGER. Bullies take their anger/jealousy etc out on their victims, and their victims feel angry because of the way the bullies treat them. Teach anger management strategies!

31 Teach Conflict Resolution
Teach your child how to use conflict management skills. Use things such as: Walk away Talking it out Exercise Cool Down Counting Conflict Resolution: Calm down before talking. No put downs, name calling, hitting, or blaming Put yourself in others’ shoes. Admit your role in the conflict. State your feelings as well as the problem. Be fair and honest. Listen!

32 Emphasize talking out the issue rather than fighting or saying hurtful remarks.

33 Promote empathy. Point out the consequences for others that your child’s verbal and physical actions may have caused. Empathy and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. That is a skill that is not fully developed until 2nd or 3rd grade. Ideas for promoting empathy: Ask your child how a character in a book or on a TV show is feeling. How would they feel if the same thing happened to them. Model empathy- Even though I’ve never been homeless, I can imagine it must be so hard to not have your own bed to sleep in. That is why we donate to homeless shelters and food banks.

34 However, do hold your child accountable for his actions.
Don’t put your child down. “Bullies” are intolerant of any insult to their self concept. They can not take criticism. However, do hold your child accountable for his actions. All children need support and positive recognition often. Self esteem develops when… We feel unique, special, valuable, and worthy. We are successful. We recognize our skills, talents, and abilities. We feel connected to others and have good relationships. We feel in control of our lives. Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. Accept yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is unique and special. Take pride on your efforts. Don’t focus only on outcomes.

35 Model Behavior Remember you are the model for your child as to the type of behavior you want him/her to exhibit. If you model bully-like behavior, they will too.

36 Monitor Your Child Monitor the type of television shows they watch. Also watch them at play. What do they choose to do with their “free play”. Acting things out with toys or puppets is a good way to get a child to express his or her emotions without being put “on the spot.”

37 Assertive, Aggressive, Passive
Expresses feelings, desires, beliefs, values, opinions Doesn’t express feelings, desires, beliefs, values, opinions Speaks clearly, directly, honestly Uses power, force, threats, violence, other forms of abuse Doesn’t speak clearly, directly, honestly Respects others Doesn’t respect others; feels more important than anyone Respects/disrespects others. Won’t intentionally hurt people, but won’t be honest Doesn’t violate others’ rights Violates others’ rights Benefits of being ASSERTIVE: More changes of getting what you want Effective communication Increased self confidence Increased self esteem More friends Less conflict More respect Better releationships Less stress Less anxiety

38 Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect!

39 What BCPS Counselors Are Doing About Bullying
Created by the Hereford Zone Counselors

40 Bullying Prevention Classroom Guidance Lessons- identifying feelings, self-concept, friendship, I-Messages, conflict resolution, bullying Small Group Counseling Positive Behavior Incentives- written or oral Positive School Climate

41 Responses to Bullying Get both sides of the story
Involve Administration Involve Parents Make Teachers Aware Follow-up with bully and victim through individual or group counseling.

42 Working Together to Prevent Bullying and Provide Support to Our Children
Reinforce classroom guidance topics. Use everyday experiences to discuss conflict (ie: movies, TV, family outings, etc.) Building confidence and trust with your child. Communication with the school.

43 Parent Resources Videos: Books: “The Odd Girl Out”
Queen Bees & Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman The Secret Lives of Boys by Malina Saval Hot Issues Cool Choices by Sandra McLeod Humphrey Bullying in Schools: What you Need to Know by Paul Langan How to Handle Bullies, Teasers and Other Meanies by Kate Cohen-Posey, M.S. Bullies are a Pain in the Brain by Trevor Romain They Don’t Like Me: Lessons on Bullying and Teasing from a Preschool Classroom by Jane Katch Circle of Three by Elizabeth Brokamp Nobody Knew What to Do by Becky Ray McCain The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander by Barbara Coloroso Videos: “The Odd Girl Out” “An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong” “Mean Girls”

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