Stop Bullying

GRAND FORKS, ND – An estimated 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying as a victim or as the bully, according to Parent and Child Magazine. This form of intimidation can be verbal abuse (name calling, spreading rumors and threats), psychological (outcast and avoidance) or physical (hitting, pushing or stealing possessions).

No matter what type, bullying is painful. It does not discriminate, since this adverse behavior crosses age, socio-economic, racial, ethnic and cultural boundaries. Reports indicate that bullying starts as early as preschool and intensifies as children get older.

Researchers state that victims tend to be shy and weaker with low self-esteem and poor social skills. As a result, the perpetrators consider the victims as an easy target who will not defend themselves against the attacks. Since bullies are usually cowards, they seek victims that are not a threat to retaliate.

The Negative Long-term Effects of Bullying
Bullying affects both the victim and the perpetrator. While victims of bullying can suffer long-term emotional problems that cause low self-esteem and depression that can last into adulthood, the bully usually is unable to form positive relationships as an adult. Reports indicate that the adult bully is more likely to use tobacco, abuse alcohol and drugs and be abusive to his or her spouse. This type of bully mentality has also been found in some cases to be linked to criminal activities.

The Parent and Child Magazine Warning Signs of Bullying
If you’re concerned that your child is a victim of teasing or bullying, look for these signs of stress:

  • Increased passivity or withdrawal
  • Frequent crying
  • Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
  • Unexplained bruises
  • Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
  • Not wanting to go to school
  • Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations

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