How schooled are you in bullying? Whether you're worried about your child being a bully or being a target, take this quiz to find out what you know about bullies, their targets and their habits.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that as of October 2010, the only states without anti-bullying laws are Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Hawaii.
Children being bullied are more likely to experience depression, loneliness, anxiety and low self esteem. They may feel sick more often, and some may have thoughts of suicide.
Most professionals say victims of bullies should never hit back. First, it doesn't work. Second, physical confrontation could cause legal problems. Running away isn't advised either, since running gives the bully power. Telling an adult is the best option for successful intervention.
Studies show that bullies will escalate their abuse the longer they are allowed to bully uninterrupted.
While a child may be bullied in various locations, it is typical for a bully to choose one isolated location, where he or she knows repeated bullying of a child won't be detected.
Children are less likely to be bullied when they are walking with others, and bullies will not harass students if they may be seen by adults.
It takes a lot of courage for a child to tell a parent they're being bullied. When a parent suggests the child ignore the bullying, the child assumes that means the parent will ignore it, too. If parents ignore it, then it must be unimportant, and the child's feelings are invalidated. Also, promising not to tell and then telling breaks, sometimes permanently, the trust that prompted the child to share in the first place.
Using humor is a great way to diffuse a bully, but the wrong kind can make it worse. Never use humor in a way that makes fun of the bully; the bullying will escalate. A victim should take the focus off the bully entirely. If the bully says, "Hey, four-eyes!," to a kid wearing glasses, the child may retort: "Four? Darn, I was trying for eight." If the bully calls the child a "wart face," the child can say, "Yeah, I keep meaning to have that checked!" Humor can take the fun away from the bully.
Actionable crimes related to bullying include, but are not limited to, threat, assault, sexual assault, stalking, hate crimes, date crimes, theft and robbery.
A child who stands by and does nothing while another child is being bullied is complicit. Teach children that it's never OK to bully and that doing nothing to help the situation makes them part of the problem. They should tell an adult if they see someone being bullied.