The following is a post from Christopher A. Brown, Executive Vice President of National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI). Interested in blogging for us? Read our guest blog guidelines.
Bullying continues to receive a lot of attention in schools and the media, and for a good reason.
It takes many forms ranging from traditional, physical bullying to the more recent and harder-to-spot form called “cyberbullying”. Regardless of form or medium, it can devastate its victims and has led some children to kill themselves. It might surprise you to learn, however, that children who bully aren’t necessarily the mean kids who tower in height over everyone else and lie in wait for your child to walk by and steal his or her lunch money through sheer intimidation.
According to Child Trends’ 5 Things to Know about Kids Who Bully, bullies:
- Don’t fit a specific profile.
- Are sometimes bullied themselves.
- Play a wide range of roles in bullying (e.g. they might actively or passively assist or encourage or a bully rather than do the bullying themselves).
- Need help, too.
- Can be reinforced (and, alternately, discouraged) in their bullying by parents, peers, and schools.
The latter point is particularly relevant to our work at National Fatherhood Initiative.
According to Child Trends:
"Children who have less-involved parents are more likely to bully others, as are those who have siblings or parents who model or endorse aggressive behavior. Parenting styles linked to social bullying include those lacking nurturing or that rely on psychological control of children; children with parents who manipulate relationships to assert power or gain attention are also more likely to engage in social bullying.”
If you’re wondering whether your child is a victim of bullying or know that your child is a victim and need some guidance in how to help your child, check out these four great resources that provide definitions of and data on bullying, as well as, advice on how to deal with bullies.
- KidsHealth (Parents Helping Kids)
- KidsHealth (Teens Helping Themselves)
- Violence Prevention Works
- Bullying Statistics
When was the last time you talked with your child about bullying?
There has been quite a bit in the news lately regarding the impact of bullying on our nation's children. Accordingly, I thought that you would find of interest this article
that I wrote about my personal experience of being bullied as a kid as well as how I handled a situation when my son was bullied. Dads have a key role to play on this issue.
are buzzing about James Jones
, the father who (quite angrily) confronted his daughter's bullies on the school bus. This dad reached his breaking point and he took matters into his own hands.
What parent hasn't
had to deal with a bully at one point or another? A community of similarly frustrated and sympathetic parents is now growing around Jones. There's even a Facebook page
that is advocating on his behalf.
The video of his reaction is below. It's hard to know when to intervene in a situation like this, much less how
to intervene. However, in the case of Jones, by berating these kids, he is continuing the cycle. There is still no one in this situation that is showing these children what it means to be respectful and how to solve conflicts. His reaction only perpetuates this behavior.
We've offered some strategies
to help parents deal with bullies, but what do you think? How far is too far? How have you handled similar situations with your children?