LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. It includes verbal, social and physical bullying.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and Mandy Richardson with Centers for Youth and Families joins Ashley, Alyse, and Tom to talk about more.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human services has a website dedicated to help parents and students when it comes to bullying called StopBullying.gov.
Here are some signs a child is being bullied:
• Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
• Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
• Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
• Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
• Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
• Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
• Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
• Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Kids may be bullying others if they:
• Get into physical or verbal fights
• Have friends who bully others
• Are increasingly aggressive
• Get sent to the principal's office or to detention frequently
• Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
• Blame others for their problems
• Don't accept responsibility for their actions
• Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Why don't kids ask for help? Here are some reasons why:
•Bullying can make a child feel helpless. Kids may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
• Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
• Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
• Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
• Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.
Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy. Find out what you can do.
How to Talk About Bullying
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can help kids understand bullying, keep the lines of communication open, encourage kids to do what they love, and model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Prevention at School
Bullying can threaten students' physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.
Working in the Community
Bullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought together. Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
Respond to bullying
How you respond can make an impact on bullying over time. Find out what you can do to stop it on the spot and support the kids involved.
Stop Bullying on the Spot
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
Find Out What Happened
Whether you've just stopped bullying on the spot or a child has reached out to you for help, learn how to determine the best way to proceed.
Support the Kids Involved
All kids involved in bullying-whether they are bullied, bully others, or see bullying-can be affected. It is important to support all kids involved to make sure the bullying doesn't continue and effects can be minimized.
Be More Than a Bystander
Every day, kids see bullying. They want to help, but don't know how. Here are a few simple and safe ways that your child can help someone who's being bullied and be more than a bystander.
If you or someone you know is talking about suicide, get them the help they need. Talk to a counselor or a teacher. They can call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.
(Source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services StopBullying.gov)