Bullying – Be More Than a Bystander

Bullying Definition
          Bullying is unwanted, 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. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. OK, Kids I am back on the bullying subject.  Here are some refreshers and some help for those that are being bullied.  Today, let's read this story and let's do something about the bullying. Thanks for taking time to read.  
Tip 1 - Be Their Friend
bully6           Children can help someone who's been bullied by simply being nice to them at another time. Being friendly can go a long way toward letting them know that they're not alone. A bystander can help by spending time with the person being bullied at school. Simple gestures like talking to them, sitting with them at lunch, or inviting them to play sports or other games during physical education or recess can help a lot. Advise the child to listen to the person being bullied, let them talk about the event. They can call the person being bullied at home to provide support, encourage them and give advice. Bystanders can try sending a text message or going up to the person who was bullied later. They can let that person know that what happened wasn't cool, and that they're there for them. A bystander can help by telling the person being bullied that they don't like the bullying and asking them if he can do anything to help. Bystanders can also help the person being bullied talk to a trusted adult. I hate seeing people hurting or upset or sad.  So I feel like if I talk to them or make them try to feel better about the situation, then they'll not think about the bullying so much.  And just to have somebody there for you is a big help also.  I've actually known a lot of people that have been bullied, and I try to stand up for them and I try to be nice to them during the situation also outside of the situation.  If you see them at lunch sitting by themselves, sad, go over, just talk to them, like,  "How's your day?"  Just try to uplift them.  A simple smile will go so far.  Like if I'm having a bad day and I see someone smiling at me, it will kind of bring me up a little bit.  And if they just try to talk to me and ask me how I'm doing and give me a hug, that's very heartfelt.  And the smallest things count.   
Tip 2 - Tell A Trusted Adult
bully3           An adult can help stop bullying by intervening while it's in progress, stopping it from occurring or simply giving the person being bullied a shoulder to lean on.   Bystanders can tell a trusted adult in person or leave them a note. If bullying is occurring, bystanders can go find, or ask a friend to find, a trusted adult as soon as possible. Perhaps they can help stop it from continuing. Remind children who witness bullying not to get discouraged if they've already talked to an adult and nothing has happened. They can ask a family member if they will help, and make sure the adult knows that it is repeated behavior. Try talking to as many adults as possible if there's a problem-- teachers, counselors, custodians, nurses, parents. The more adults they involve, the better. A trusted adult could be someone on the varsity lacrosse team or your coach or your art teacher or your youth group leader or someone who... even a best friend's older brother or sister.  Someone that you see on a daily basis or something like that.  My trusted adult, she gave me... she talked to me about the situation and was emotional about it, or sentimental, I don't know if that's the right word.  But she kind of leveled with me.  And then went past the "being sorry for you" point, and said, "Ok, here's some proactive tips," and said, you know, "This is what you need to do.  This is how you can help and make sure that even if, no matter what, don't ever stoop down to that level." Gave me incredible advice to go on through the daily life because it is hard to go to a trusted adult and just tell them.  And then after you're kind of like, oh now what do I do.  So she definitely gave me the advice and the help that I needed.  So I would recommend finding someone that you could trust. 
Tip 3 - Help Them Get Away
bully7               There are a few simple, safe ways children can help the person being bullied get away from the situation. However they do it, make sure the child knows not to put themselves in harm's way. Create a distraction. If no one is rewarding the child who is bullying by paying attention, the behavior may stop. Bystanders can help to focus the attention on something else. A bystander can offer a way for the person being bullied to leave the scene by saying something like, "Mr. Smith needs to see you right now," or "Come on, we need you for our game."  Remind children to intervene only if it feels safe to do so, and never use violence in order to help the person get away. I thought that by them sticking up for me I was just going to get it worse in the back end.  But it didn't happen that way.  It happened that I was no longer messed with by that person. Now, while others did mess with me, that one specific person stayed away because they were just unsure what was going to happen.  So, at first I was very upset because I thought, "This is not a good look.  You don't want to seem like a punk.  You just want to do what he says and be done."  And it's not that.  You won't come off as a punk or as a weakling or as weird.  When somebody helps you out it's actually them saving you and helping you.
Tip 4 - Set A Good Example
bully4             If a child knows not to bully others, then other students will follow their example. To help even more, children can actively participate in anti-bullying activities and projects. Make sure children don't bully others and don't encourage bullying behavior. Encourage them to look for opportunities to contribute to the anti-bullying culture at their school through school clubs and organizations. They can create anti-bullying posters, share stories or show presentations promoting respect for all. Use tools like the youth leaders toolkit to help older teens work with younger children to prevent bullying.  I think by starting with the leaders in the class, by them setting a good example and saying ,"Hey, if I start this maybe other will follow in the positive direction, in the right direction," it definitely works.  Because when you have the negative ones starting the negative attitudes and doing negative things, you're going to have others who join in.  So I think diverting that and turning it into a positive will definitely help.  Not being a bystander but being an up-stander, and not going to Superman lengths.  But, you know, showing that you actually care, showing that you're not giving in to what's going on, in this case bullying.  Making it clear that although you're not going to be this big shiny Superman, you're also going to send this message you're not going to be involved. Join your local support group.  Schools especially are in need of that.  Clubs that victims, if you're a victim of bullying, you can cling to, you can go to show your support.  And people who aren't being bullied, you can go as well to show your support and to show that you care about these people who are in these types of situations.  And you really want change.
Tip 5 - Don't Give Bullying an Audience 
bully5               If one of your child's friends or peers begins to bully someone, they shouldn't encourage the behavior by giving it an audience. Instead of laughing or supporting it, they can let the bully know that such behavior isn't entertaining. Oftentimes, those who bully are encouraged by the attention that they receive from bystanders. Children can help stop bullying by actively not supporting it. Remind them that when they see bullying, they can act disinterested or blatantly state that they don't think bullying is entertaining or funny. Children can help by keeping their distance from the situation. If they ignore it, it may stop. If the bullying doesn't stop, the bystander should follow other tips, such as telling a trusted adult. Bullies, they really feed off the energy they get.  If they hear people laugh at one joke they make, they're going to keep making them to get the laughs.   And if you show them that it's not appreciated, then eventually they'll realize that what they're doing is not acceptable.  When I've been an audience member, I've actually been in situations growing up where I've seen kids bullied as a group. I've been part of the crowd, and I've been in situations where its just been easier to laugh at the kid who's being bullied.  And you feel bad. But you never see anyone else reaching out for them.  And you know that you could be that person. But there's just this instinct to conform to the crowd, and to just keep laughing, and to tell yourself that the kid's ok, even though you know that it's not and that this is going to have a real negative effect on this child. bully2 bully8

About MimisThoughts

My close family call me Mimi, you will too. A 53 year old black female with many thoughts and opinions. I am vocal and passionate. I was raised old school and am proud to know most children that I had any influence over are carrying on the right way. 'Please, Thank You, Yes Ma'am, No Sir'. Divorced a couple times and no children of my own. I have lived a full and diverse life. Well educated and very liberal a Baptist raised in the church. I hope my posts, information, and opinions in my blog inspire you to open up a conversation. Pass along the usually hidden unheard of and unknown facts of how life is being lived today. Welcome to my thoughts....
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