What is Bullying? A hint...it is probably not what you think it is. Let's look at what bullying is really about so you know what you are up against when helping your child. First, and this may surprise you...it is not about ANGER.
Many of us have a picture of the big, dumb, angry kid taking little kids lunch money and while that still happens it is one of the easier types of bullying to identify and put a stop to.
Bullying is about an imbalance of power whether perceived or real. It involves the threat or actual hurting of another person over a period of time. It has become a serious epidemic leading to bullycide and terrible long term effects for both the bully and the victim.
I may be dating myself here but when I was growing up we did not have cell phones (for my Aussie friends..mobiles), computers in every house, and multiple gaming systems...I smile when I think of the "state of the art" Atari ping pong game we played...technology has come a long way. The shear vastness of knowledge available at our finger tips is overwhelming...
All that information combined with the technology that delivers it has changed the face of bullying. However, it has not changed what bullying is about. It is about meeting needs albeit in a negative way.
Bullying is not about anger... that is the kicker... Kids don't Bully out of anger. They bully to meet some kind of need. Everyone has basic needs for food and shelter, to be loved and accepted, to feel significant and to contribute in some way to the larger good. Now, that last need generally does not develop until adult hood but there are Adult bullies out there too.
Your child may be the bully or the victim of bullying. So you are already aware that it can be physical (getting beat up) , emotional (being shunned) verbal (name calling) and of course the CyberBullying (through technology) which is the fastest growing.
As we work together to find solutions that will stop the bullying keep in mind our children are living in a much different world. Who is doing the bullying has changed, the degree and severity of it has changed, the ways a child is bullied has changed (with technology your child can be bullied from their cell phone or lap top right in their own bedroom).
It is important to get involved and stay involved until it stops. Open up the lines of communication with your child and let them know you are there to support them. Explore this site so you have an answer to what is bullying and you have an understanding so you can help your child.