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Topics: Bullying
Bullying can mean many different things. These are some ways children and young people have described bullying:

being called names being teased being pushed or pulled about being hit or attacked having your possessions taken and thrown around having rumours spread about you being ignored and left out being forced to hand over money or possessions


'What Do We Know and Want to Ask About Bullying?’ Please Choose
A Question Below To Begin Exploring More About This Question and
Understanding Deeper Aspects of Bullying.
What is bullying?
Bullying is when a person or group repeatedly tries to harm someone who is weaker. Sometimes it involves direct attacks such as hitting, name calling, teasing or taunting. Sometimes it is indirect, such as spreading rumors or trying to make others reject someone. What are the different types of bullying?
Bullying can take many different forms including physical, verbal, social and psychological (for example keeping someone out of a group). It could also involve taking or damaging belongings/demanding money. Many different studies have found the most common type to be unpleasant and hurtful name-calling.
How common is bullying?
Studies in many different countries over the last twenty years have shown that bullying in schools is common. It is not unusual to find that between a third to a half of the pupils were involved in bullying, either as victims or bullies.
What does it feel like to be bullied?
Bullying hurts. It makes you scared and upset. It can make you so worried that you can't work well at school. Some children have have skipped school to get away from it. It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you. Bullies can make you feel that it's your fault.
Who do children tell when they are being bullied?


Many studies have found that children who are being bullied become less likely to tell as they get older, and when they do confide in someone, it is much more likely to be a family member or friend than a teacher. A worrying finding of many studies is that a lot of children do not tell anyone. Creating an atmosphere of openness in which children feel safe enough to talk to an adult about problems, is one of the key challenges for schools.
Why don't children tell?
Children give a variety of reasons for not telling an adult about bullying, ranging from being afraid of what the bullies might do if they found out, to feelings of failure because they could not deal with the bully themselves.
The reasons that children give for not telling are usually reasonable and logical. The fear of revenge is real and should be acknowledged.
However, this fear is sometimes expressed in another way - as a fear that the adult will do something which will make matters worse.
What does it feel like to be bullied?
Bullying causes distress, at times, an extreme extent of low self confidence, low self esteem, stress etc affecting the victim.
Understanding the range of emotions that may be experienced by a bullied child, at one end of the spectrum it is upsetting for a short time. At the other end it can drive a child to think about the event for years
What is the role of peers in bullying?
Studies have found that peers do play an important part in bullying whether they are openly encouraging it or 'just' standing by and watching. It has been suggested that if witnesses of bullying are not actively trying to prevent it, they are encouraging it (whether they realize it or not).


What are the feelings of bystanders?
As the findings presented here suggest, bystanders have different feelings about bullying. Some are upset by it, but unfortunately there are some who seem to enjoy it.
Are some children more likely to be bullied than others?
Bullying can happen to anyone, at any time in their school career, but there are some characteristics and factors which might make it more likely.
Any child can become the victim of bullying if he or she is put into a school where bullying is not tackled effectively. However, research seems to be pointing towards social skills and character as being even more closely linked to involvement in bullying than these more obvious factors.

In schools, bullying usually occurs in areas with minimal or no adult supervision. Some children bully because they have been isolated, and they have a deep need for belonging, but they do not possess the social skills to effectively keep friends. What is often not clear is whether a child is bullied because she is anxious and has low selfesteem, or is anxious and has low self-esteem because she has been bullied. Who do children tell when they are being bullied?


Parenting is an important part of loving and caring for your child.
Good parenting is about providing a warm, secure home life, helping your child to learn the rules of life (e.g. how to share, respecting others, etc.) and to develop good self-esteem. You may have to stop them from doing things they shouldn't be doing, but it is just as important to encourage them to do the things you do want them to do.

Why is parenting important?
Rules are an important part of everyday life. They make it possible for us to get along with one another. If children do not learn how to behave, they will find it difficult to get on, both with grown-ups and with other children. They will find it hard to learn at school, will misbehave and will probably become unhappy and frustrated.
What helps?
It is important to make sure that children feel secure, loved and valued, and to notice when they are behaving well. The trick to this is to find strategies that work well for you and your child.


Here are some ideas:
Be consistent
If you don't stick to the rules your child will learn that if they ignore them, you will probably give in.
Give lots of praise
Let your children know when they have done something well and when you are pleased with them. For example, give them a hug, give them a kiss and tell them how great they are. You need to do this straight away.
Planning ahead
It helps if you and your child know the rules for particular situations before they happen. Don't make them up as you go along (e.g. if bedtime is 7.00 p.m., make sure you both stick to it). Involve your child
Sit down with your child and talk to them about good behavior.
You might be surprised about how much you both agree on.
Be calm
This can be difficult in the heat of the moment, but it does help.
Be calm and clear with your commands, for example `please switch off the TV' or `its bedtime'.
Be clear with your child
For example `please put your toys away' tell children exactly what you expect them to do. Simply telling them to `be good' does not.
If your child can't understand you, they can't obey you. Keep it short and simple.


Be realistic
It's no good promising a wonderful reward or dreadful punishment if you are not going to see it through. It is much better to offer small rewards rather than punishments.
For example `when you have tidied your room, you can have an ice cream'. Don't expect miracles. If your child has only partly tidied their room, praise them for having started.
The importance of your relationship
When times are difficult, it is easy to forget that you can actually have nice times together. Everybody can end up feeling angry and upset. So you need to plan to have good times together. For example, you could play a game, read or cook with them for 10 minutes every day.

How can it go wrong?
Your own experience of childhood is very important. If you were punished a lot, you may find yourself doing the same with your own children. Or you may be the opposite and find it hard to be as clear as you need to be.
If parents disagree about rules, their children may get mixed up because they don't know whose rules they should be obeying.
They may just learn that if they can't get something from one parent, all they need to do is go to the other.
Parenting takes energy! It's easy to let things slip if you are depressed, tired, very busy or don't have any help with your children. Without rules, children can simply get in to the habit of behaving badly.


Where can I get help?
Talking problems over with other parents or friends is often useful.
Talk to your child's teachers, as there may be a similar problem at school. It will help your child if you and the teachers can work together to agree on how to tackle the problem. Changing a child's behavior is a slow, hard job, but it can be done.
Specialists can help to find out what is causing the problem and also suggest practical ways of helping.

Common discipline mistakes:
1. Thinking "It's just a phase." Bad behaviors don't go away. They almost always need parental intervention. The longer parents wait, the more likely the behavior will become a habit. So don't call it a phase: stop the bad behavior as soon as it starts.
2. Being a poor behavior model. Our behavior has an enormous influence on our kids' behavior. After all, what they see is what they copy. So before parents start planning to change their kid's behavior, they need to take a serious look at their own.
3. Not targeting the bad behavior. It's best to work on improving only one-and never more than two-behaviors at a time. And the more specific the plan the better. Don't say, "He's not behaving." Instead, narrow the focus to target the specific behavior you want to eliminate: "He's talking back." And makeover will be more successful.
4. No plan to stop the bad behavior. Once parents have identified the bad behavior, they need a solid makeover plan to stop it.
The plan must (1) address the kid's bad behavior, (2) state exactly how to correct it, (3) identify the new behavior to replace it, and (4) have a set consequence if the bad behavior continues. 8

5. Not teaching a substitute behavior. No behavior will change permanently unless the child is taught a new behavior to replace it. Think about it: if you tell a kid to stop doing one behavior, what will he do instead? Without a substitute behavior, chances are the child will revert to using the old misbehavior. 6. Going alone. Big mistake! After all if your kid is using the bad behavior on other caregivers-be it spouse, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, coaches, scout leaders, babysitters-then use the same makeover plan together. The more you work together, the quicker you'll be in stopping the problem behavior.
7. Not sticking to the plan long enough. Learning new behavior habits generally takes a minimum of twenty-one days of repetition. Parents need to commit to changing the bad behavior and then continue using the plan for at least three weeks. Only then will they see change.

I've been catching my child in small lies, of the "I didn't do it" variety. How can I stop this behavior before it starts to escalate?
Think about it:
Children lie for a variety of reasons. They lie to keep their parents happy with them, they lie so they won't get in trouble, they lie to cover embarrassment or inadequacy, or they lie because they don't make the clear distinction between fact and fiction. Teaching your child the value of telling the truth takes time, teaching and patience.
Don't play detective:
Don't ask questions that set your child up to lie. When your child has chocolate on his face and the candy is gone, don't ask, "Did you eat that candy bar that was sitting on the counter?" Instead make a


statement of fact; "I'm disappointed that you ate the candy bar without asking. That will be your snack for today." If your child says, "I didn't." don't play twenty questions, just state the facts,
"The candy is gone, and there's chocolate on your face. Why don't you go up to your room for a while and come on back down when you want to talk about it."
Spend time on solutions:
Focus on finding a solution instead of laying blame. "Regardless of how it happened, the lamp is broken. What are we going to do about it?"
Be straightforward and honest:
If you're not sure if your child is lying make an honest statement,
"That doesn't sound like the truth to me."
Don't start the 'off the hook' mistake:
If your child comes to you with the truth, resist the urge to lecture.
Thank the child for telling you and then focus on finding a solution or imposing a necessary consequence, without anger. Don't make the mistake of saying, "If you tell the truth, you won't be punished."
We all make mistakes, and owning up to them can be difficult, but we still need to accept responsibility for our actions. As an adult, if you're driving your car and hit someone's car in the parking lot, you are not "off the hook" if you own up to your mistake, but you can be in serious trouble if you are caught in a "hit and run." So avoid the trap of saying, "When you tell the truth, you'll be off the hook," instead, think of it this way, "If you lie, you'll be in even bigger trouble!" Review your expectations:
Kids sometimes lie because they feel they're not meeting your expectations, and they think it's easier to lie than feel like a failure.


Take a look at how you respond to your child's mistakes or inadequacies, and make sure you leave room for imperfections.

Think about it:
When children feel angry and powerless, they sometimes resort to hateful words to express their feelings. These outbursts should not be taken at face value. In other words, your child doesn't really mean he hates you - he means he's extremely angry that he can't have his way, and you're the one imposing the rules! These reasons don't mean you should tolerate the behavior. But, when you look at it this way, you can temper your own emotions so that you can take control of the situation.


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