Bullying Prevention Month
School is back and the season is in full swing. By now, children have adjusted to their new routines, academics are in full force, and extracurricular activities are back in session. All of which are great things, however, with the territory comes the increased risk of students experiencing some form of bullying.
What is bullying?
Bullying is unwanted and aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time. Kids who are bullied and those who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
There are three types of bullying: physical bullying, verbal bullying and social bullying.
- Physical bullying can be defined as hurting a person's body or possessions. Some examples include hitting, kicking, punching, biting, tripping, pushing, and breaking someone’s things. 2.
- Verbal bullying can be defined saying or writing mean things. Some examples include teasing, name – calling, taunting, threatening to cause harm, or making inappropriate sexual comments. 3.
- Social bullying can be defined as hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Some examples include spreading rumors, leaving someone out on purpose, intentionally embarrassing someone in public, and persuading others to not be friends with someone.
Every October, National Bullying Prevention is observed by schools and organizations across the country. As an organization that works closely with school districts and youth throughout our communities, we are committed to reducing hatred, racism, and all forms of bullying, including cyber bullying.
Here are some ways that parents, school staff, and caring adults can play a role in bullying prevention.
- Help children understand what exactly bullying is, why it is not okay, and how to safely stand up to it. Children should also be aware of their support system and who they can talk to if they’re feeling bullied.
- LISTEN! We want to keep a line of open communication with our children. Allow them to speak openly, express their feelings and concerns, and actively listen to what they have to say. It is okay to ask about the friends a child has at school, what activities he or she may be involved with, and how the overall day went.
- Encourage children to pursue what they love. As a child becomes more engaged with special activities, he or she genuinely enjoys the increased likelihood there will be to make friends and boost confidence. This could also greatly reduce the risk of experiencing bullying behaviors.
- Model kindness and respect. Children learn from an adults’ actions. By modeling healthy behaviors such as treating others with kindness and respect, a child will learn that there is no tolerance or place for bullying.
Find Support at Acenda
At Acenda, we are strong advocates of bullying prevention and are here to support those that have experienced bullying in all forms. On October 7, our staff participated in Blue Shirt Day, which is an annual call to arms to speak up against bullying and bring awareness to bullying prevention. On this day we stood in solidarity with those that have dealt with bullies and made it known that we are on the mission to STOMP out bullying.
As a community resource, our highly trained staff in our Counseling & Wellness Centers are here to help anyone that might have experienced or is experiencing bullying. Bullying may increase the chances of a child or adolescent experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety, however, seeking services could be especially helpful for your child as they go through this difficult time. If you feel that your child or adolescent may need to talk to someone, you can call our toll-free number 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632) to request an appointment.