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Understanding bullying in today’s world

Posted by Scott Stueber on Sep 26, 2017 8:57:11 AM

bullying.jpgSchool has been back in session for a few weeks. I hope you and your family have adjusted to this more hectic routine.

If your child is attending a new school, including transitioning into middle school or high school, you probably need more time to adjust. At the middle school and high school levels, many more opportunities exist. Each transition in school brings more challenges and homework!

For your student, the new school year also means developing new friendships. More than likely, this is probably one of the scariest things for them. My daughter is a freshman in high school this year. She’s very outgoing and confident. However, she was more concerned about who she was going to sit with at lunch, than the difficulty of her classes or the size of her high school.

Meeting new friends is hard. It makes kids feel insecure and vulnerable. Even as adults, we can feel this way in new social settings.

While great new friendships can develop, unhealthy ones can develop as well. Some kids may be rude, mean, or even bullies.

I understand this is a sensitive issue for many families. My intent isn’t to debate each situation, but to share some resources that may help your family.

Therefore, to start, it’s important to understand some definitions.

Rude = inadvertently being impolite or discourteous. An example of a rude person may be someone who jumps ahead in the lunch line or brags about being the best athlete or student.

Mean = saying or doing something with the intention to hurt someone else. An example of a mean person may be someone who criticizes your clothes or lunch. A person who is mean may say something hurtful one day and be nice the rest of the school year. Their behavior isn’t repeated on a regular basis.

Bullying = repeated, unwanted aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Different types of bullying include:

  • Verbal;
  • Physical;
  • Social; and
  • Cyberbullying.

It’s estimated that we’re connected to our electronic devices almost five hours per day. To me, this is why cyberbullying is so concerning. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If your family struggles with too much time on electronic devices, check out my blog “10 Tips for Parenting the Digital Child”.

If you’d like to learn more about bullying, visit stopbullying.gov. You’ll find information about:

  • What is bullying;
  • Cyberbullying;
  • Who is at risk;
  • Preventing bullying;
  • Responding to bullying; and
  • Getting help.

If your family is struggling with a particular situation, don’t sit back and hope that it passes. Talk to a teacher, principal, therapist, police officer, or religious clergy. Help is available if you look for it.

Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.


Topics: Family Safety, Teen Safety

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