Bullying is not new, nor does in occur sporadically. According to the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 20 percent of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
In any social setting where children gather routinely, vying for power and acceptance can occur, which can create an uncomfortable environment.
Motivators behind bullying
Intrinsically, bullying is about power. When a person wants control over other individuals, they will exert mental or physical power over the person they perceive to be weak to gain advantage.
The true motivations are usually rooted in deep-seated jealousy or feelings of inadequacy that they harbor inside, but the person being bullied will not be allowed to see this.
Bullying puts the victim in a state of perpetual fear, no matter how hard they try to avoid it.
How parents can help manage bullying
Even those who choose to defend themselves are constantly worried that they will have to do it again and against larger numbers. It may seem, at times, that parents can’t do anything to help their children through these tough times, but there are some actions that can be taken.
- Pay attention to their child. While some changes are just a part of growing up, others are telltale signs that something is adversely affecting children’s lives. Because kids don’t often ask for help in these instances, it’s up to parents to open the lines of communication, read between the lines and determine when they can do to help.
- Bullying is something that has gotten worse with the advent of social media sites. Cyberbullying has become a popular form of control. Parents should stay in tune with their child’s social media interactions.
- Meet with teachers and the principal to determine what can be done to thwart this behavior in school.
- Find out when the bullying is occurring. If threats have been made outside of school, parents can get the police involved.
- If the bullying continues after a school’s official intervention, write a Notice of Harassment and file it with the Board of Education.
- If the bullying persists, file charges. This will put the behavior on record and establishes a pattern. It also serves as documentation for the events.
Parents, school officials and any adults who come into contact with children on a regular basis must watch for signs of bullying and take steps to stop it. These measures are in place to keep children safe.