We’ve all seen the video of the kid who stood up to his bully. A lot may have found the video rather amusing; where the bullied slams the bully faced first onto the pavement. Like David and Goliath gone wrong, the bullied was about twice the size of the bully. No. It’s not a TYPO. The size difference seemed like a mismatch between a pensive, nice guy to a scrawny kid who seemed to have a some sort of a Napoleonic complex. Size did matter at this point. It kind of makes you think about the entire structure of bullying. Why bullying occurs, where it all starts, and what we can do to protect our kids from bullies. There were several outcries about how parents should take action about the bully, or if the bully deserves that beating.
The 2010–2011 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying. Statistics show that there is a drastic increase towards the 3 year mark of the number of kids who experienced being bullied. Since definitions of bullying changes… ENTER social media.
Social Media Bullying
It’s the real deal, ladies and gentlemen. Social media offers an almost infinite number of possibilities for bullying to flourish. The use of awkward photos, tagging of names, tweets about the bullied, social media posts and rants and what-have-yous are becoming quite common. It can be as simple as “I think Amy took on too much weight,” and cue in the trolls and the LOLs and the comments. And unlike physical and actual bullying done in schoolyards and halls, the lack of censorship and a watchful eye to put a damper on bullying makes it a perfect place for bullies to flourish.
Ok. Dear parents and guardians. There is one quick way to prevent social media bullying… and the answer is brilliant and practical: get them off social media. Keeping kids off social media and having them engage in productive social activities will wonders. While it frustrates those born in the 80’s on how kids interact and define the word “fun.” It’s easy. Get them off those tablets. Get them into sports that define character instead of role playing games that confuse it. BJJ (brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) has shown promise on top of regular Karate and tae kwon-do classes. Interaction great, and impact and the risk of injuries is very minimal. Check out www.graciebarra.com. It’s one of the best schools there is out today!
Bullying Prevention Starts at Home
As parents, it is our responsibility to shelter, protect and provide for our kids. We can prevent bullying by letting our children know that they can tell us everything and we are around to help them. There is magic in actively communicating with our young ones. Open communication and honesty starts at home. Rear them to be bully proof! And since I mentioned Gracie Barra as a martial arts school, they offer regular bully proofing seminars for kids. You should check that out.
- Lack of energy. Unless your kid is immuno-compromised (a rather dismal medical condition), lack of energy can be a sign that a kid is being bullied
- Lack of interest in going to school – self-explanatory. School is the breeding ground of bullying
- Bruises and unexplained cuts – when bullying becomes physical, these signs will be evidence
- A steep drop in grades – There are no definite numbers to follow, or percentiles to look out for. If these things are happening, intervene quickly
- Jumpy behavior – I’ve seen kids who are easily startled. This is a sign of a more serious case of bullying. Get the school’s attention, or get professional help from www.stopbullying.org
Bullying can be prevented. It all starts with the proper know-how and the right idea of why it happens and how it all happens. Understanding that preventing bullying requires constant effort, education, and guidance. Let’s all live a bully-free world.