How to recognize bullying
Bullying has had increasingly high profile in recent years as people have come to understand how deeply it can wound children - and how tragic the consequences can sometimes be. Bullying is defined as
"willful, repeated aggressive behaviour with negative intent used by a child to maintain power over another child." The result is
"a victimized child caught in an abusive relationship."
- Unequal power - One child has more power than another child (or it seems this way to the children involved)
- Hurtful actions - Physically or psychologically harmful behaviour takes place (such as name-calling, insults, threats, kicking, hitting, punching, etc)
- Direct or indirect actions - The abusive behaviour may be face-to-face or done behind a child's back (such as teasing, exclusion, gossiping and spreading rumours)
- Repetitive behaviour - The hurtful actions keep happening, so the child being affected finds it increasingly difficult to escape
Cyberbullying is the use of social media, email, text messages, websites or other electronic means to physically threaten, verbally harass or socially exclude an individual or group. Social media technologies often allow bullies to remain anonymous while distributing damaging messages/pictures to a widespread audience.
What can parents do?
All adults - including parents - should talk openly about bullying with the children in their care, and should be prepared to deal directly with any problems that arise, whether at school, among groups of friends, or in other social situations.
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