Category Archives for "Bullying"

sad girl leaning against a wall by herself

Social Bullying and Why Your Daughter Is in Danger

Social bullying leaves little evidence behind. It’s discreet and worst of all – its effects can humiliate a child and damage their social or mental health in the long run.

The pain of a blue eye seems insignificant in comparison to the kind of trauma left from this. 

As a parent, the biggest problem is that it’s hard to know when social bullying is happening. And even if you do know about it – you'll need a lot more than some ointment to solve everything. 

But some kids are more at risk than others here. If you have a child in elementary school, and especially a daughter between the ages of 9-14,  then this article needs your full attention. 

This is the age that social bullying peaks. In fact, a shocking 48% of elementary female students are subjected to social bullying in the US every year.

As a parent, it's your responsibility to help your child navigate this complicated and emotional time. Here's exactly what you need to know.  

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Mother Helping Child Recover From Bullying

How to Successfully Help Your Child Recover from Being Bullied

So, your child has been bullied.

Now, what?

Although it is difficult to watch your child suffer the effects of bullying first-hand, there are some things you can do to help speed up the healing process.

This will not be easy and your child may resist. But if you follow these guidelines you will have a much higher chance of success.

Firstly, you need to remember that many children are embarrassed and afraid to confide in anyone about being bullied, never mind their parents.

That is why only 39% of high schoolers report bullying incidents to an adult. And when they do approach their parents, the bullying experience is often downplayed.

Do not do this!

This is the number one mistake that parents make.

You need to remember that, for your child, their world is crumbling. So, if you minimise the incident – they will feel like you are not hearing them.

Whatever you do, don’t use phrases like:

“I am sure they didn't mean it.”
“Every school has bullies.”
“Don’t take it personally.”

Your child needs your compassion and understanding before they can feel it's safe to open up. Your job is to build trust so that they will feel comfortable talking to you.

Then you can start the healing process.

Now that you know what not to do, what must you do?

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Verbal bullying interpretation

Verbal Bullying Is a Problem You Need to Deal With

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Is your child currently being exposed to verbal bullying? If so, you then need to take a look at the facts, statistics and examples we're about to share.

By understanding why this form of bullying is so dangerous and the kind of attacks your child may be exposed to. You’ll immediately have a better plan-of-action.

Verbal bullying is a global epidemic. Studies show us that it’s the most common type of bullying that most children will experience at school.

On average, 77% of all children are being verbally bullied in some way.

Yet, growing up, most of us were taught that physical bullying is worse.

Even the first anti-bullying campaign created in the 70s drilled it into our heads: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.”

This has misled us all. Words do harm!

Of the 77% of verbally bullied children – 14% will be left with severe mental health issues.

So, if you’re here to find out how to protect your child. Then, you have come to the right place.

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boy-with-bruised-face-from-abuse

Physical Bullying: The Complete Guide for Parents

It’s hard to miss physical bullying on the playground. You will notice a punch to the eye more easily than a sly remark passed at the back of a class.

Physical bullying is most visual of the common types of bullying. If you don’t see it in action, you’ll know something is wrong after taking a look at the victim! It’s also the most classically accepted form of bullying. Most people understand why hurting another person is wrong under any circumstance.

When bullying became more understood in the 70s and 80s, it took centre stage as the main issue. Classrooms showed awareness clips that oversimplified the issue. There would always be a clear victim and a clear bully, which is often not the case. 

Bullying was defined as a punch or a kick. Which again, is also not quite true.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me,”

was one of the key anti-bullying folk phrases released in the 1970s. The perfect example of how sensationalised physical bullying was.

Yet today, after all of the attention that has been drawn to bullying, it's still an issue of serious concern.

teen-about-to-be-punched

Physical bullying is still a big problem. Approximately 282,000 middle school students in the USA are assaulted every month. That’s about 3,4 million kids a year, excluding those who experience any other types of bullying. And this number keeps on growing.

So the question we should be asking is (after all these years):

Do we actually know what physical bullying is? And what is the right way to deal with it?

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5 6 types of bullying | The Bully Shield

6 Types of Bullying Explained

There are 6 types of bullying that are commonly known and we'll discuss them all in detail right here. Bullying is more than a simple blow to the stomach, a painful bathroom wedgie, or some humiliating name-calling.

It's a lot more vast than that. It can be easy to spot, or it can also go unnoticed for years. If you want to protect your child against any one of the 6 types of bullying – you will need to learn how to take appropriate action. 

This article will break down and teach you the most important aspects of this, starting with: The various types of bullies that your child may encounter, and each one's specific character traits. 

But before we get into this, we need to understand the true definition of bullying is... 

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bullying and peer pressure | the bully shield

Peer Pressure and Bullying: Why They Work Together

Peer pressure is something that almost all teenagers will experience at one point or another. And it’s not always a bad thing.

If we look at social influence as a whole, there are many good ways in which it can inspire impressionable teenagers to become better individuals. But, it can just as easily persuade them into doing some pretty objectionable things as well. 

What’s important to take from this is that our kids are receptive to the environments that they’re placed in. This means that peer pressure and bullying are two things that can often go hand in hand.

Peer pressure and bullying in context: Antony’s story 

Three friends have known each other for a long time. They were brought together by common interests, but are now about to be torn apart after admits to having interests that the other doesn’t agree with.

Antony is left in the middle of this conflict. And now, he is manipulated into doing things that he doesn’t want to do out of pure fear.

This story clearly shows how peer pressure and bullying can affect our children from an early age.

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2 cyberbullying in social media | The Bully Shield

Cyberbullying: The New Social Invader

Cyberbullying in social media is the newest of all the 6 types of bullying. And as parents today, we face the critical dilemma of trying to understand and solve this tech-driven problem that we never had growing up. Yes, bullying has been around for ages – don’t get me wrong - but if you had an issue with some kids at school, you knew that once you got home, you would be safe. To get a better understanding of this, let’s paint a picture...

Anna's Story

Anna was 15 years old and had just started going to a new high school. She was young, pretty, impressionable and eager to make friends. She’d quickly gotten to know all the kids in her class and found a particular group that she really wanted to be a part of. You could call this the ‘popular’ crowd for lack of a better label. Each girl in that group was confident, beautiful, and envied by all the other girls.

One day, Anna finally plucked up the courage to talk to them during lunch and she was greeted with cold smiles. The frontrunner of the group asked her to join them at the table, and then started to quiz her on her life.

The group soon became a lot more friendly as Anna spoke and it made her feel quite comfortable to keep on sharing. Before she knew it, she’d rattled on about herself for 30 minutes. She even told them all about the crush she had on one of the boys in their class. The bell rang and everybody went back to class. As Anna walked away, she had already received 5 new friend requests on Facebook - one from each girl and a message saying, “It was so awesome to meet you”.

You can only imagine the complete shock and mind-numbing disbelief that filled her later that day when a random person from her class sent her a private message with a link, with the words: “Hey, new girl – you might want to take a look at this...” 

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bullying and self esteem | The Bully Shield

What’s the Link Between Bullying and Self-Esteem?

Whether you’re the bully’s parent or the victim’s parent – you need to know that bullying and self-esteem have a long-standing relationship and it needs to be addressed. There’s a reason why certain children are exposed to bullying while others go their whole lives without much social conflict at all.

Charlotte’s story

While walking down the school corridor one morning, Charlotte could feel her arms being weighed down by the massive pile of books she was carrying. She was working on a school project, but since no one wanted to buddy up with her, she ended up working on it alone. The project required a lot of research, so she had to check out a bunch of heavy books from the library by herself. As she walked closer to the study hall, she started to get light-headed and could feel her palms sweating profusely. Not only were the books ridiculously heavy to carry, but her crippling anxiety made her think she was going to slip, drop everything and make a fool of herself.

The link between anxiety and self-esteem

Charlotte’s anxiety made every interaction at school hard. For the most part, she kept quiet and stuck to herself. Whenever she was around ‘the cool kids’, she would start stumbling as she wouldn’t know what to say. In her mind, she would overthink every word she wanted to say before she even said it. Eventually, after taking so long to get one sentence out, her knee-jerk reaction often kicked in and she’d just blurt out whatever gibberish came to mind first. Every time this happened, she’d be left mortified at the other kids’ callous responses. Most of the time, her classmates mocked her and call her a freak. 

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Narcissistic bullies | The Bully Shield 2

Narcissistic Bullies and How They Affect Our Children

Although there are many different types of bullying that our kids can be exposed to, a certain amount of attention needs to be drawn to narcissistic bullies and why they can be so dangerous.

Stephanie's story

Stephanie is a 14-year-old girl who is funny, sweet, caring and sensitive. She has a group of classmates at school that are genuinely good friends to her (and vice versa). So, she feels as though she cannot complain even though there is just one problem that never seems to go away. The group ‘leader’ in this friendship circle is Stephanie’s best friend, and she seems to have regular problems with Stephanie for reasons that nobody, let alone Stephanie herself, can understand.

Today was a big day for Stephanie, she had gone to the hairdresser the day before and gotten a brand-new haircut. She was very pleased with her new look and couldn’t wait to show it off at school. It’s important to remember here that most teenage girls struggle tremendously with body confidence due to media influences and societal expectations – so they need all the positive support they can get! On arrival, Stephanie’s friends all came to greet her and gave her a wave of compliments on her new look. 

Confronting a narcissist  

Stephanie was overwhelmed with her friends’ support, and eventually, she saw Ruth walking towards the group. She pulled Stephanie aside and asked to talk to her in private. With cold eyes, a straight face and flushed cheeks, Ruth sternly uttered, “You need to know the truth, your hair looks like absolute s**t and no one in the group has the courage to tell you. You look that bad. They feel sorry for you, Steph. Now it’s just going to be an absolute embarrassment for me to be seen with you and I don’t know if I can do it.”

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1 my child is being bullied | The Bully Shield

My Child is Being Bullied – The 3-Step Process You Can Use to Help Them

If you are a parent who suspects your child is being bullied and you want to find that silver bullet to make it stop, then you may have a rough time looking for it. We’re not saying the problem can’t be solved, because it definitely can. But, it will take a little time and effort from everyone involved. This includes you, your child and the school.

Lisa is 14 years old and she goes to a small school close to home. Every day, a group of girls whisper nasty things about her and laugh when she walks past. They have also started horrible rumours about her and spread them on social media. Everyone at school has seen them now. At this point, Lisa feels like she has no place to get away from the abuse. Even when she's at home, she can still see the nasty comments when she goes online. 

Her mom knows that her child is being bullied, but she just tells Lisa to keep ignoring the nasty comments and to be strong. The problem is that the only two worlds Lisa knows are school and home. And now, she doesn’t feel understood no matter where she goes. No place is safe to be happy. 

One day, Lisa decided to start bunking school. She was desperate to get away from the bullying as it seemed impossible to solve. Of course, it wasn't long before her mother found out that she was missing school and got quite angry. She quickly grounded Lisa as she felt it was the most practical way to control her child's whereabouts. There was only one problem with this plan. Lisa didn't feel heard when she tried to explain herself. This left her lost all hope that her mom would ever understand her pain.

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the bully cycle | The Bully Shield

Bully Bystander – How Our Actions Contribute to the Bully Cycle

Bullying is about more than just the bully and their victim. It’s about everyone surrounding them as well, including the bully bystander. Think of bullying as a situation that has an expanding ripple effect. It involves more and more people until eventually it becomes a bullying cycle that affects an entire society.

This may seem like an exaggeration when you first think about it, but take a moment to think about your childhood. If you put aside whether or not you were a bully or the victim, do you remember a situation where you were a bully bystander and saw others being bullied? Have you ever tried to help a bully victim yourself? Or maybe you've ended up making friends with someone who bullied others? Now, think about whether or not that situation was ever resolved and why. It's quite likely that if it was resolved, the bully bystanders had something to do with it. 

Amanda Todd's story

Six years ago, Amanda Todd took her own life after falling into hopeless depression. She was the victim of uncontrollable bullying. And although there are many kids who commit suicide for this reason, Amanda’s case has stood out because she chose to share her painful story on YouTube shortly before her passing. In the video, the 16-year-old Canadian teenager explained how she made a big mistake in the 8th Grade that changed her life forever.

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bully mentality | The Bully Shield

The Psychology of a Bully – What Triggers Someone to Adopt a Bully Mentality?

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Understanding the psychology of a bully should be the first thing you do if you’re worried your child is bullying others at school. By having that insight behind what motivates and drives someone to be a bully, you’ll have a better grasp of the kind of discipline that needs to be used to resolve the problem.

Bullying is more than just some good-humoured teasing shared between friends. In a friendship, there’s a clear understanding about what you can joke about and what would hurt another person’s feelings. For something to be classified as bullying, it needs to be an intentional, hurtful and consistent attack that singles out and demeans another person. The psychology of a bully is set to demean someone else in order to boost their own sense of self-worth or to ease their insecurities.

There are 6 types of bullying: physical, verbal, relationship/social bullying, sexual, cyber, and prejudicial or discriminatory bullying.

The not-so-easy question we need to answer is: What drives a child to want that kind of power over someone else? Remember that to truly understand the psychology of a bully, you need to consider the fact that they feel pleasure when bullying and causing others pain. This is why it’s likely they’ll continue do bully others until there’s some form of intervention. 

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