What comes to mind when you hear this word? Some fear for their children every single day before, during, and after school. Some roll their eyes and think bullying is something schools overreact to and are forced to look at due to "political correctness." Some might shrug shoulders and don't have much of an opinion on the topic.
However, the American Medical Association reports that 3.7 million youths engage in bullying, and that more than 3.2 million youths are victims of "moderate" to "severe" types of bullying.
If bullying is such a big deal, then what is it? How do you recognize it in your own children, and how do you help become a part of the solution?
Today, let's look at the first question - what is bullying?
Bullying is an intentional act meant to cause physical, emotional, or psychological harm to another person. The act can be a one time occurrence or it can be repeated. It can occur at any age, but is most likely to begin at age 4 and continue into the teenage years. This is due to increased interaction with peer groups beginning at the pre-K age.
Bullying may occur face to face, or through technology such as the phone, texting, or Internet (often known as cyber-bullying). Remember that each child is unique, and will be affected in his/her own unique way.
A developing child will always be negatively affected by negative, harmful attention from his/her peer group.
Next, we will look at signs of bullying and being part of prevention and solution.
Do you have any experience with or thoughts on bullying?