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Understanding & Responding to Bullying Part II



Second night of the parent workshop

Second night of the parent workshop



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  • As a mom I think one of the best things we can do to help prevent bullying is set a good example. And I believe that we can help our children prevent bullying before it starts by creating classroom communities in which children's love and belonging needs are met. We need to teach children how to care about each other, how to use kind words, how to support each other's learning. As a way of helping everyone especially the parents, who find it quite hard to manage time, I found this great application which featured a safety app which gets me connected to a Safety Network or escalate my call to the nearest 911 when needed, it has other cool features that are helpful for your kids with just a press of a Panic Button. Check it here: http://www.SafeKidZone.com/
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Understanding & Responding to Bullying Part II Understanding & Responding to Bullying Part II Presentation Transcript

  • Understanding & Responding to Bullying
    Part II
    Understanding the bully & targets
    Helping the bully & targets
    Parents & schools
  • Let’s have a QUICK Review
    Part I
    Increasing Your Awareness
    What Causes Bullying & What Can We Do?
    Tools for Strong Families
  • What is Bullying?
    P—Bullying is purposeful
    I—Bullying is imbalanced
    C—Bullying is continual
  • Spheres of influence: which ones can you affect?
    A way to successfully approach problems within your family (problem solving model)
    What is your goal?
    What are you doing?
    Is what you are doing helping you achieve your goal?
    If not, what can you do differently?
  • Understanding the Bully
  • Aggressive Bullying: 7 Characteristics
    Most common overall and esp. among boys
    Often plays on an expectation of harm & then the fulfillment thereof
    Includes both physical and verbal aggression
    Usually look for a peer audience but will not bully in front of adults
  • 1. Aggressive bullies initiate overt aggression
    Need for an audience
    Social reward (attention)
    Accomplishes dual purpose—intimidation of target and bystanders
  • 2. Aggressive bullies have learned that bullying has payoffs
    Why bully? Why not!!!
    Means to achieving
    Risk vs. Reward—usually there are no consequences, but even those there are may be worth the risk
  • 3. Aggressive bullies are fearless, impulsive and coercive
    Lack/Find unrewarding
    Ability to resolve conflicts peacefully
    Ability to plan and execute decisions; reflection
    Ability to be caring
    Coping Mechanism
    Impulsive action
    Coerciveness, using threats and violence
  • 4. Aggressive bullies are adaptable and use multiple forms of violence
    Hitting, kicking, other physical forms
    Threat of physical violence
    Damaging or stealing property
    Creating cliques
    Coercing others to join in
    Inciting fear through veiled means
    Often have reputations among peers and school personnel
  • 5. Aggressive bullies want to dominate others
    Need for control
    Need for power and influence
    Easily irritated when they don’t get their way
    Frustration leads them to attempt control of weaker students
    Openly and/or privately attack targets
    Taunt and isolate targets
  • 6. Aggressive bullies have little empathy for others
    Suppress perception or do not perceive feelings of targets
    This leads to feelings of distain/contempt/anger without regret
    Feeling that targets deserve what they get
  • 7. Aggressive bullies see the world with a “paranoid eye”
    Look at the world with suspicion
    React to accidental slights or normal negative experiences (a low grade on an assignment, being pumped in the hall, etc.)
    Unsettling and threatening to reputation
    Disturb sense of control
    Perceive these as personal offenses and deserving of revenge
  • Passive Bullying
  • Characteristics of Passive Bullies
    Use covert or indirect aggression
    Are generally dependent, insecure and anxious
    Lack strong inhibitions against aggression
    Commonly engage in social exclusion
    Often participate in (but are unlikely to initiate) aggression
    Lack social status among peers
    Are “camp followers” and “hangers on”
  • Relational Bullying
  • Characteristics of Relational Bullies
    Most common type among girls
    Attempts to gain power, prestige and influence by excluding others
    Uses exclusion to get even when they feel that they have been slighted or insulted
    Manipulate social patterns
    Spread rumors and lies
  • Cyberbullying
    Follows children into their homes—even bedrooms
    IMs, text messages, Facebook, email, blogs, chat rooms, online journals
    Unsupervised and feeling of anonymity—can lead to greater cruelty than face-to-face interactions
    Often unreported because children to not want to lose access to this private world
  • Sexual Harassment
    Defined as unwelcome
    sexual advances
    Requests for sexual favors
    Derogatory verbal slurs
    Interfering with an individual’s academic or social functioning
    Can be
  • Helping Children Who Bully
  • Ten Warning Signs
    Frequent initiation of fights
    Disrespect toward authority figures
    Lack of concern about whether other people’s feelings are hurt or even apparent pleasure from hurting others
    Unwillingness to acknowledge mistakes or take responsibility for mistakes
    Disregard for rules
  • Ten Warning Signs (Continued)
    6. Lack of fear
    7. Teasing or intentionally harming pets or other animals
    8. Lying in order to get out of trouble or avoid negative consequences
    9. Use of anger and aggression to get one’s own way
    10. Unwillingness to trust or open up to others
  • What if My Child is a Bully?
    Signal your disapproval of bullying
    Signal your refusal to tolerate bullying in any form
    Say what you mean and mean what you say
    Develop your family environment so that people want to be in one another’s company
    Support your child’s interests
  • Skills for Children Who Bully
    Parents play a critical role in helping children acquire the skills necessary to stop bullying.
  • Skills Training Process
    Step 1: Model the skill for your child to observe
    Step 2: Conduct a role-playing exercise in which the child enacts the skill
    Step 3: Provide feedback on how well the skill was enacted and what might make it better
    Step 4: Give your child “homework” to practice the skill in the real world
  • 3 Types of Impulsivity
    • Children will think about what it is that they desire with increasing focus and intensity
    • Each thought fuels the next until action occurs
    • Behavior is driven by mood states
    • A child may become so overwhelmed with emotion that he may lose sight of his ability to think about the consequences of certain actions
    • Feelings of tension in the body
    • Tingling, dizziness, headaches, or stomachaches
    • Bodily sensations are the most significant ways in which this child experiences the world
  • Impulse Control
    Teaching children to recognize their “triggers”– the events, settings, feelings, and/or thoughts that usually lead to their impulsive actions—will help them recognize times they are in a situation that could lead to bullying behavior.
    If a child can recognize the triggers, she can begin to recognize them as friends rather than foes and use them on the path toward developing better behavioral control.
  • When Your Child Loses Control…
    Ask your child the following questions:
    What happened?
    What were you thinking and feeling before you lost control?
    Give praise for self-awareness if trigger is identified and ask:
    What could you do if you have these thoughts and feelings again instead of losing control?
  • Cognitive Retraining
    Bullies will benefit from learning to think in a different way (retrain the “paranoid eye”)
    • What happened?
    • Why do you think the person did that?
    • What are some other reasons the person might have done that?
  • Help Your Child Build Empathy
    While watching television/movies ask your child the following questions:
    What do you think (insert character) is thinking?
    What is he/she feeling?
    How would you feel if this happened to you?
  • Problem Solving
    S—Stop: Stop, settle down, and be calm
    T—Think: Think about the problem and your goals
    O—Options: Think about the options or solutions to the problem
    P—Plan: Examine the consequences of different options, choose the best plan, and do it
    P—Plan working? If yes, great! If not, try a new plan!
    OR…try The Big Questions (from Part 1)
  • Understanding the Target
  • Passive Targets
    Not actively doing anything to contribute to their victimization and have little responsibility for the outcome
    To some degree it is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time
    Often feel threatened, scared, denigrated, humiliated, defenseless, and vulnerable
  • Passive Target Characteristics
    Generally have low self-esteem
    Describe their experience as one of social isolation and abandonment
    Tend to be smaller and have less developed physical skills
    May be targeted because of intellectual abilities
    May be of lower socioeconomic status
    Appear more anxious, nervous, and insecure than their peers
  • Provocative Targets
    Engage in behaviors that will actually provoke others to pick on them, tease them, or engage in physical fighting
    Characteristics include:
    • Purposefully does things that irritate others or otherwise initiate aggression
    • Want to be seen as influential and important
    • Often strive to get other children in trouble
    • Generally, are negatively viewed by peers and school staff
    • Are at risk for serious injury if their behavior escalates
  • Targets of Relational Bullying
    When someone is systematically excluded from a group or ignored by peers.
    An attempt to join the clique or group is often rejected
    Experience being ignored, treated as nonpersons, and help in contempt
    Common among girls and increases as children get older, develop effective social skills, and have a better understanding of exclusion
    Often overlooked because it is not apparent
  • Apply the PIC Criteria to Relational
    (P)Is it purposeful?
    Relational bullying is intentional and is often well planned.
    (I)Is there an imbalance of power?
    Clearly, those who are doing the excluding have power over the child who is denied participation
    (C) Is it continual?
    Relational bullying is rarely a single event. Once the persons doing the excluding have identified a target, they often continue to reject the individual
  • Bystanders
    People who witness or hear about
    bullying as also affected
    2 possible reactions:
    • Afraid
    Fear that if they interfere they will become the target
    Should realize they possess alternative strategies and resources to help the target
    • Guilty
    Can result in shame and remorse which can lead to sadness and general avoidance of the conflict.
    “Learned helplessness”, feel they are unable to have impact on their life or other’s
    Students who intervene won’t always be successful and it may even escalate the situation. But children tend to listen to each other and empowered bystanders are often effective in stopping aggressive behaviors
  • Boys vs. Girls
    Typically more physical
    Targets of violent and threatening behavior
    Clearly observable
    Typically more relational bullying
    Gossip, rumors, and social exclusion
    More difficult to observe
    Most common bystander
  • Helping Targets of Bullying
  • Ten Warning Signs
    Physical signs of fighting
    Frequent illnesses or trouble sleeping
    Sudden decrease in school performance
    Peer rejection
    Depression, unexplained or uncontrolled crying, thoughts or talk of suicide
    Avoiding certain groups at school, unwillingness to walk to or from school
  • Ten Warning Signs, continued…
    Sudden and unexplained changes in request for lunch items
    Development of tics, nail-biting or hair-pulling, bed-wetting
    Truancy or refusal to go to school or other activities
    Suddenly avoiding group activities (recess/lunch/ neighborhood gatherings)
  • Parents: how to help—7 methods
    1. Prize your child
    Do not overlook issues but deliver corrections respectfully
    Give alternatives
    Make it clear what behavior is unacceptable
    Make your child feel valued and loved
  • Parents: how to help…
    2. Praise your child
    Avoid negative comparisons
    Ideal versus real
    Be affirming and supportive
    Deliver 3 positives for every negative
    Activity: “Did you notice?”
  • Parents: how to help…
    3. Promote humor
    Avoid teasing each other over uncontrollable things (i.e., red hair, height, glasses, etc.)
    Help children to learn and identify what is funny without being harmful
  • Parents: how to help…
    4. Problem-solve instead of Punish
    Punishment is often for the punisher—to right a perceived wrong
    Involve your child in the process
    Go back to the 4 questions & ask yourself if your punishments fit
    Is it making your child more responsible?
    Is it problem-solving?
  • Parents: how to help…
    5. Practice what you preach
    Kids rarely tell parents how large an influence they have because this is a betrayal of kid culture!
    Your behavior, the way you treat friends, the way you treat strangers, what you say when you watch TV….
    Asking children to behave differently than you do teaches dishonesty
    Admit your mistakes!!!
  • Parents: how to help…
    6. Preserve your promises
    Follow through and honor agreements
    Necessary for the development of trust
    Tell your child when you are doing things that involve him/her
    i.e., when contacting the school about an issue
  • Parents: how to help…
    7. Promote consistency
    Children always test limits
    Sometimes easier (but not better!) to give in than to engage in conflict
    Keep firm limits!
    Limits also give children a way to avoid tricky situations…
    “I’d love to but my parents would kill me…”
  • Advice for targets
    Good advice
    Bad advice
    Ignore it
    Walk away
    Fight back
    Submit quietly
    Try not to react intensely
    This robs bully of emotional payoff
    Respond atypically: not like a bully and not like a target. Throw them!
    Don’t try to be invisible
    Approach first
    Not to suggest that targets are responsible—just to give them the skills to combat what they encounter
  • Skills for targets
    Targets often lack communication skills for dealing with conflicts
  • Importance of friendships
    Friends both insulate from bullying and teach coping skills
    Bullied children often have trouble finding/ keeping friends because they have developed negative expectations of people
    Low self-esteem leads to a cycle of social rejection and increased anxiety and desire to avoid social situations
    Coach your child to identify negative expectations and form more positive ones. Some possible tips:
    Make direct eye contact
    Ask to join in informal activities
    Good posture/confident body language
  • Assertive communication
    Respects others—standing up for self
    “I messages”
    Causes reflection
    Does not express needs
    Causes anxiety in self and social reward in bully
    Violates others’ rights
    “You messages”
    Causes defensiveness
  • Passive, Aggressive and Assertive Responses
    “I’m using my money for lunch.”
    “Please stop teasing me—it isn’t funny.”
    Says “Please stop” and follows up with an adult if necessary
    “Okay, here’s my money”
    Does nothing when teased
    Cries when shoved in the hall
    “I’m telling everyone you’re a thief.”
    Hits the teaser
    Runs and hits the offender in the back of the head
  • Asking for help
    Decide what the problem is
    Who or what is causing it?
    How do you feel when it happens?
    Decide if you want help with the problem
    Can you solve it on your own?
    Who can help you?
    List as many people as possible
    Ask to speak to the person about the problem and discuss possible solutions
  • Help for bystanders
    Empowering bystanders
    Potential source of help for targets but also targets themselves
    Experience fear and guilt, responsibility, remorse
    Can feel depression, conflict avoidance and “learned helplessness”
    Can best help through indirect intervention
    Tell an adult
    Express disapproval when it is safe to do so
    Support target afterward
    Talk about the incident with other bystanders
  • Parents and SchoolLet’s work together!
    If your child is involved in a bullying situation it can be happening at school
    Schools have the responsibility
    to maintain a safe and
    comfortable learning
    environment for students
    Enlist the school’s assistance, seek solutions, and work cooperatively
  • Positive School Climate
    Excellence in teaching
    School values
    Awareness of strengths and problems
    Established policies and accountability
    Caring and respect
    Positive expectations
    Support for teachers
    Positive physical environment
  • Reporting a Bullying Situation
    Parents report that communicating bullying to a school is stressful
    If your child is being targeted
    • Often you hear it directly from the child or school staff
    • Parents want their child to be protected
    Use the BIG Questions to report the incident(s)
    Resolve peacefully and effectively!
    What is your goal? Most likely to get your child safe; not to embarrass them further or create hostility between the school and family
    What are you doing? Try to remain calm and keep focused on the goal. When someone acts out of anger outcomes are not good for anyone
    Is what you are doing helping? Determine if your actions are assisting with keeping your child safe or not.
    What else can you do? Maybe it is necessary to take time to establish a plan with your child first, determine who would be best to speak with first and express your genuine concern, call a Family Meeting to involve others in decision making
  • Reporting a Bullying Situation cont.
    If your child is engaging in bullying:
    Typically hear from the target’s parents or the school
    Understandably hard to hear
    Often skeptical of what they hear
    Child often denies or lessens any bullying-like behavior
    Best to work with the school staff to find out the problem and establish a plan as effectively possible
  • Quesstion & AnswerReflection TimeComments