I am very aware that not all bullies are children. Some bullies are adults in places of authority in your child’s life. We will have to save that discussion for another date. Today, I’d like to address the school age bullies and those whom they bully.
I need to begin by stating that I am no expert on this matter. We began having this discussion in a forum where I work. Because I am a mother and a grandmother, I began to do a little research and the statistics have overwhelmed me. I was shocked and decided that maybe if I could save 1 child by writing an article to my website addressing this topic, then any ridicule I may receive is worth it. I am sorry, but I can’t just do nothing.
Here are the sad, sad statistics that have so overwhelmed me. Are you aware that the #2 cause of death for school age children is SUICIDE? I wasn’t aware of that. This fact has literally broken my heart. I have grandchildren that are school age. We are talking about children between the ages of 8 and 18 years old. God, help us.
Now to really blow your mind… Did you know that the #1 reason these children commit suicide is because of bullying and the depression that goes along with it?
My friends, we cannot accept these hard cold statistics and do nothing. We have to become educated and learn the signs and symptoms that are out there for us to see if we will just take the time to notice. We have to be watchful and protect our children and grandchildren at all costs.
You may be thinking to yourself, “What can I do?” I believe that we can be aware. Learn what a bully is and how to recognize him/her, even if it is our own child/grandchild. A bully shows definite signs.
We need to also be aware of the signs of a child who is being bullied. This child will almost never reach out for help for several reasons. So we need to be watchful. We are our children’s first responders. It is our responsibility to protect them.
What Is A Bully
According to Wiki a bully is one who uses force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.
In the UK, there is no legal definition of bullying and in the US only some states have laws against it. There is relational bullying, verbal bullying, physical bullying and cyberbullying. Bullying is on the rise worldwide, yet not enough research is being done to curtail this spreading problem.
A bully often has a large circle of friends with an inner circle of friends that encourages the bullying.
Statistics show that a child that is a bully, left to his own devices will often turn to alcohol and drug abuse as he gets a little older, stay in trouble with law enforcement, and often end up in prison. Being a bully is often a cry for help. This child is not to be hated. This child needs help. We have to learn to recognize the signs.
Signs Of A Bully
There are definite signs that a child is a bully. Look them up for yourselves. Here is a list of several of the signs that I found in my research.
- Getting in trouble at school
- Justifying bad behavior
- Difficult time controlling anger
- Strong aggression toward siblings or family members
- Behavior problems: hot-tempered, easily frustrated, impulsive, prone to fight, lacking empathy towards others especially those they have hurt, bragging about getting into fights
- Controlling and manipulative of others and certain situations
- Exceedingly competitive; absolutely has to win or to be the best, even if it is false
- Refusing to accept responsibility for his/her actions
- Someone who witnesses explosions of anger in other people
Symptoms Of A Child Being Bullied
Just as there are signs of a child being a bully, there are symptoms of a child being bullied. As I stated earlier, more often than not, a child will not report the actions of the bully. He or she will usually try to hide the signs of abuse. Very often a child is convinced that he/she deserves the abuse. This is an abused child. He/She will need a very strong support system to begin to heal.
Here is a list of what I have found so far.
- Reluctance to go to school, or ride the bus, or anywhere the bullying is taking place
- Crying spells or extreme emotional reactions that are out of character for this child
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
- Torn or missing clothing or damaged property that this child refuses to explain
- Frequent headaches or tummy aches
- Sleeping too much or too little. Frequent nightmares
- Verbalizes feeling of no hope or helplessness
- Talks about death or suicide
- Dislike of playing outdoors without an adult present
- Notice if your child has taken a Victim Stance. Standing or walking with their shoulders slumped and their head down or sitting in the ‘hiding’ position
- A sudden change in eating habits or weight gain or loss
- Also, be extra watchful if your child is starting a new school
The very moment I became a Mommy and then later a Bammie, I felt like I had found my life’s calling. So, needless to say, children are my heart. I write this article strictly out of love for all children. If in reading this you suspect the signs of a bully or the symptoms of a bullied child in your own child or grandchild, I plead with you to acknowledge that your child may have a problem. That is a very hard thing to do, admit that our child has a problem. But, the most loving thing you can do for your child in this situation is to admit it, address it, and possibly seek help from a qualified professional. It is so much easier to confront a problem head-on when there is a possibility of correcting the situation than to stand back and do nothing and wait for a tragedy to strike.
Let’s all join in and fight this good fight of keeping our precious children safe, happy, and strong!!
I’m adding a YouTube Video. Hope this helps.
I would also like to add that if you would like to share this article, please do so. I intend to copy this URL and send it to each of my children. You are welcome to do the same. Maybe together we can change things for a child. I firmly believe that applied education makes the difference.
All the best,