In our social media drenched world we receive a constant stream of news from across the country and the world of tragic events directly and indirectly caused by bullying. According to the Megan Meier Foundation, 1 in 4 children are bullied at some point. In fact, there are very few of us who were not at one time bullied as a child or an adult.
“Bullying is an aggressive behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength. Bullying is repeated over time and can take many forms, such as hitting, punching, or shoving (physical bullying); teasing, taunting, name-calling, or sexual remarks (verbal bullying); intimidation using gestures, spreading rumors, or social exclusion (psychological or social bullying). The definition of bullying includes three essential components:
- Bullying is an aggressive behavior involving unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of repeated behaviors over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Cyberbullying is typically referred to as “a communication or posting by one or more minors using cybertechnology or digital media designed to hurt, threaten, embarrass, annoy, blackmail, or otherwise target another minor.”
Cyberbullying is willful and repeated bullying behavior that takes place using electronic technology. It can involve text, gaming devices, internet, social media, emails, blogs, cell phones, etc.
Cyberbullying can be done within a wide variety of technology, such as social networking sites, email, cell phones, websites, etc.” (MeganMeierFoundation.org)
Here are a very few of the resources available on-line in reference to identifying and managing bullying. There is help everywhere. But…there are not enough resources in the world to protect your child from bullying if you, as their parent fail to identify that it is happening. The best advice is for you to be an engaged and active parent! Recognize changes in your child’s bearing and demeanor. Notice if their grades are slipping or if they no longer have friends over. Be available for them to talk to; encourage them to share whatever is on their mind; and most importantly…listen to them.
- Megan Meier Foundation
- National Bullying Prevention Center
- Violence Prevention Works
- Mental Health America: Bullying