A Belly Full of Bullying
“Often people dismiss bullying among kids as a normal part of growing up. But bullying is harmful. It can lead children and teenagers to feel tense and afraid. It may lead them to avoid school. In severe cases, teens who are bullied may feel they need to take drastic measures or react violently. Others even consider suicide. For some, the effects of bullying last a lifetime,” according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The Internet has opened up new doors for youth/children wishing to bully other children. Chat rooms, social networking sites such as Facebook, email, texting and other online tools have all helped create a cyber bullying epidemic.
Some bullying statistics parents need to be aware of include:
-3.2 million students in 6th-10th grade say they are a victim of bullying each day.
-Playground school bullying statistics show that every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervene 4 percent of the time, peers intervene 11 percent of the time, while there is no intervention 85 percent of the time.
-77 percent of kids are bullied mentally, verbally and physically.
-Only 10 percent of kids tell their parents that they have been bullied.
-Each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied.
-33 percent of students report being bullied at least once a month.
-6 out of 10 students say they witness someone being bullied daily.
Teaching the bullies
Excerpted from Cyberspace: Bullying’s New Turf by Lisa Hix, a freelance writer and former Yahoo! editor who’s been published in the San Francisco Chronicle, Glamour, and Bust. She’s currently an associate editor at Collectors Weekly and a KQED Arts blogger)
The most effective means of preventing bullying is to teach children how to put themselves in others’ shoes at an early age. In fact, a former kindergarten teacher, Vivian Paley, author of 1993’s “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play,” conducted a surprisingly successful experiment in her classroom. In 1996, she explained to Ira Glass on NPR’s “This American Life” that she had noticed certain children were consistently rejected from playing with the others. Her kindergarteners were apprehensive (and a little relieved) when she told them about the “you can’t say you can’t play” rule, but within a few weeks, they had adapted it completely, no more exclusion.
In a December New York Times article, a mother named Judy recounts how shocked and disturbed she was to find her teenage daughter was behaving as a cold, calculating bully to another student she had deemed “a whore.” Her solution for finally getting through to her daughter? Buying her a puppy. Eventually the mother asked, “Would you want anyone to be mean to your dog? Throw rocks at Foxy? How do you think other parents feel when something mean happens to their children?” Judy told the Times that this was the breakthrough moment. “She broke down crying. That’s when I think she finally understood what she had done.”