Sue Scheff: Bullying – Is your child a buster or a bystander?

As the news continues about the rising rates of bullying, parents need to take a stand.  Determine if your child is being bullied or possibly a bully.  Has your child witnessed another child being teased?  Is he/she a bully bystander or will they be the one that busts them (tells the teacher or person in authority)?

The U.S. Department of Education cites the following ways in which bystanders and peers of victims can be negatively affected by acts of bullying:

  • They may become afraid to associate with the victim for fear of lowering their own status or of retribution from the bully and becoming victims themselves.
  • They may fear reporting bullying incidents because they do not want to be called a “snitch,” a “tattler” or an “informer.”
  • Some experience feelings of guilt or helplessness for not standing up to the bully on behalf of their classmate.
  • Many may be drawn into bullying behavior by group pressure.
  • They may feel unsafe, unable to take action or a loss of control.

Bullying has become a vicious trend that although is not new, it is escalating as it spreads into cyberbullying.  We are hearing about more children suffering with depression and committing suicide that may have links to them being bullied or teased in school or outside of school.

To find out more parent tips visit Connect with Kids Bullying Bystanders.

Be an educated parent, learn all you can about bullying.  Talk to your children and encourage them to do the right thing.

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