October is Bullying Prevention Month

Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in News | 0 comments

With the school year now in full swing, October’s National Bullying Prevention Month gives us all time to pause and think about the topic of bullying and how it affects children and youth everywhere.

If you’re a parent, grandparent, caregiver, teacher, mentor, or work with children in another capacity, have nieces or nephews, or just find yourself as a bystander witnessing any type of bullying, this is important information for you to know.

Because bullying involves multiple individuals, being mindful of both sides can help provide insight into existing bullying incidents, and identify potential situations before they begin. Stopbullying.gov presents comprehensive information and resources to understand the risk factors and signs for both those who are bullied and those who bully others. Share their “Kindness Works” message with others.

Experts assert that the act of labeling children as “victims” or “bullies” can have damaging effects because it begins to reinforce their positions as one or the other. Labels can create an impression for children that these social situations are difficult to change or their role becomes part of their permanent identity. Furthermore, there are often other children involved in an incident, including those who defend against the bullying act, those who reinforce or assist and others who are simply witnessing it. To avoid labeling, it is recommended to describe the participants in terms of their actions (such as, the child who is bullying, the child is was bullied, etc.). Learn more about the dangers of labeling.

There are a number of risk factors at play for those involved in a bullying act. For children who are bullied, these factors can include being perceived as different from their peers through aspects of their appearance, their demeanor, their socioeconomic status, their race, ethnicity, or national origin, their sexual orientation or if they have special needs. For those who bully others, risk factors can include children with increased social power, as well as those who are more isolated from their peers, have difficulty in school, or view violence in a positive way. Learn about other risk factors.

If you are unsure about whether a child or youth is being bullied or is bullying others, here are some key warning signs to help guide you:

A child may be experiencing bullying if:

  • They have unexplainable injuries.
  • Their belongings are lost or destroyed.
  • Their eating habits have changed.
  • They exhibit a loss of interest in schoolwork or going to school.
  • They experience a sudden loss of friends or start avoiding social situations.

A child may be bullying others if:

  • They get into physical or verbal fights.
  • They have friends who bully others.
  • They are increasingly aggressive.
  • They have unexplained extra money or new belongings.
  • They don’t accept responsibility for their actions.

Learn about other warning signs.

Prevention is possible. As an adult, education and consistent communication with the children in your life are at the heart of preventive measures. There are also steps you can take to stop bullying when you see it. Responding quickly and consistently to bullying conveys to children and youth that it is unacceptable behavior, and research has shown that intervention can stop bullying behavior over time. Learn simple steps you can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.

Take time to get to know the resources provided by Stopbulling.gov. The most important step to take is to acknowledge a bullying incident when you see it happening. If you or someone you know needs help now, visit this page for immediate resources.

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