Bullies are a way of life, in every city and state. Whether you live in rural Iowa or New York City, your children can be exposed to bullies. As parents, we can work together to learn ways to identify bullies and their victims. You can teach your children not to be victims, and not to allow other children to remain victims, either.
How to Identify Bullies
Most kids have experienced teasing at the hand of a friend or sibling at some time. If it’s done in a friendly, mutual, playful way, and both kids are amused, it’s not normally harmful. However, when it becomes constant, hurtful and unkind, this crosses the line into bullying. It needs to be stopped.
Harmful bullying occurs when one person torments another, in psychological, physical or verbal ways. It may include mocking, extorting money, threats, name-calling, shoving or hitting.
Some children bully by spreading rumors about others, or by shunning them. Today, text messages and social media sites are too often used to hurt others’ feelings, or taunt them.
As parents, we need to take any bullying seriously, rather than brushing it off as a thing that the kids need to “work out”. The effects of bullying may be serious, and could affect our kids’ sense of self-worth and safety. Bullying can lead to tragedies, in serious cases.
Why Do some Kids Bully Others?
Kids commonly bully others because they lack attention from one or both parents at home. They lash out to get attention. This includes children with a paren..