Strategies to Address Bullying - Assignment Example

* Class Brainstorming – Define

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– Different types of bullying

– Some examples of these

* Our Definition

* Types of bullying and examples

* Why some children bully

* How to recognise a bully- seven elements

* How to recognise a victim- signs of a bullied child

* Group work- Scenarios

* Strategies to support bullies- how to prevent bullying

* Strategies to support victims

* Why children with special needs may be bullied

* Effects of bullying

* Group work- Creative tasks

* Conclusion

Bullying involves the psychological, emotional, social or physical harassment of one or more person by another individual or group. It includes behaviours and actions that are verbal, physical and/or antisocial.

Different types of bullying

There are four main categories that types of bullying come under. These being: psychological, emotional, social and physical harassment.

Some examples of different types of bullying

Emotional and Psychological- This can include: name calling, intimidation, verbal teasing, and gestures that imply later violence

Verbal- This can include: laughing, giggling, whispering, yelling, verbal threats, spreading rumours, name calling,

Social- This can include: exclusion, name calling, teasing, ignoring, mimicking, nasty notes, pointing, staring, making faces, spreading rumours, demanding money or threatening behaviour

Physical- This can include: pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking, punching, flicking, theft, throwing victims belongings, breaking/hiding/pushing over or interfering with victims belongings, pulling hair, tearing clothes or belongings, stalking, using weapons

(Field.M, 1999, pg 20-23)

Why some children bully

In order to help victims of bullying to help themselves, there is a need to have some idea why some children bully, how and why they are given opportunities to do so, and how we can monitor, reduce and eventually eliminate bullying.

These are some reasons why children bully:

* Some bullies are simply bored, and see bullying as fun

* Children sometimes tease simply to get a reaction

* The bully believes that bullying makes them more popular or better accepted by their peers

* Most bullies often have difficulty dealing with their own feelings, so they focus on the feelings of others instead.

* Some children are frustrated and prefer to pass on this frustration by bulling rather than dealing with it themselves

* Bullying provides the bully with attention from their peer group, at the victims cost

* Some bullies believe that aggressiveness provides them with status, control, power and feelings of belonging

* Some children believe aggression is the only way to resolve conflict.

* Bullies can be the smart popular children who abuse roles of power and leadership and use them to hurt others

* Some teachers do not take bullying seriously- they simply believe the children are playing around

How to recognise a bully

Bullies are people who tease, frighten, threaten or hurt others who are not as strong as they are. Most bullies work on their victims fear. They manipulate their victims to exist in a state of fear, reminding them regularly with a look or other action, verbal or non-verbal, of what might happen to them. Some children only bully when they are with friends or a gang. They think they are being “cool”. Bullies are sometimes regarded as being strong and powerful, and are often popular and admired by other children. (Field.M, 1999, pg 31)

Bullying has been shown to incorporate seven elements:

* There is an initial desire to hurt whether it be physical or emotional

* Desire is expressed in action

* Someone is hurt

* The action is directed by a more powerful person or group against someone less powerful

* It is without justification

* It is typically repeated

* It is done with evident enjoyment

How to recognise a victim

The child who is most likely to become a victim is very sensitive and easily hurt. They show distress very clearly. They are more likely to be anxious, cautious, submissive, non assertive, and quieter than the other children. Some children are shy, others lack common social skills. Their facial expressions and body language can often show how they are feeling, whether it be happy, sad, angry, hurt or even show a look of powerlessness. More often than not, at least for a period of time, these children deny or reject help. They claim that they can cope, when realistically they are struggling to handle the situation. If a child is generally sad at school, or not happy a good deal of the time, it is essential that you talk to them to try to discover what is causing their unhappiness. (Field.M, 1999, pg 20)

Signs usually displayed by a child being bullied:

* If a child is frequently involved in fights

* Money/lunch/or other belonging being taken or damaged

* Bruises/cuts or torn clothing

* Often tired- indicating child not sleeping well

* Tries to stay with teacher during breaks

* Lack of participation in class activities

* Sitting alone in class or on playground

* Does not want to go to school

* Appears sad/depressed/withdrawn

* Sudden changes in behaviour, e.g. moody

* Shows more signs of anger than usual

* Denies unhappiness and claims to be fine

* Has low self-esteem

* Made fun of and laughed at

* Very few friends

* Chosen last for teams or games

Strategies to support bullies

* As a teacher- reinforce the need/expectation, that all children treat each other with courtesy and respect.

* Teach bullies assertive communication skills within the context of the normal class so that they can learn more effective ways of relating to others.

* Encourage families to model appropriate behaviour for them- if children are brought up by parents who display inappropriate behaviours, they cannot be blamed for copying their role models.

*Inappropriate behaviour of children should be dealt immediately with in an assertive, non-threatening way.

* Schools should adopt a policy of non-tolerance, outlining non-acceptable behaviours- most bullies know which behaviours are acceptable and which are not.

* Reinforce positive behaviour

* Design class activities to teach bullies how to identify with the victim and to realise the impact of violence on the victim.

*It may be helpful for the parents of the bully to co-sign a “contract” outlining behaviour guidelines.

* As a last resort the child/children who bully may need to be referred for mediation or counselling.

Strategies to support victims

* Make sure the child feels safe and will not be harmed by talking to someone about the problem

* Sit down with the child and find out what has been happening

* Listen carefully and be patient- most victims find it hard to talk about this problem and more often deny the extent of their problem

* Find out if anyone has said or done anything that the child feels bad about and finds difficult to tell you

* At all times the child needs to feel that you are supportive- you cannot be seen to be blaming or criticising them for being a victim

* You need to express confidence that something can be done to fix the problem and stop it from occurring in the future

* If the child has been physically hurt and has bruises or cuts or if their belonging have been damages make sure principal and parents are informed and an incident report is filled out for future reference.

* Find out how the child has been suffering and how they feel about it

* Have a guest speaker visit the school to talk about confidence and some mental strategies children can use to build confidence

* Run a “victims support group” this can be done discreetly without whole class knowledge

6 steps for a victim to deal with bullying

1. Deal with your feelings

It is very important for children who are bullied to identify what they are feeling. Dealing with our feelings mobilises us to action. Expressing feelings is a form of power. Children can abuse, lose or use this power.

2. Understand why you were bullied

It is extremely important for the victim to understand why they have been bullied, (e.g. for fun, looks, weight etc). It avoids wasting energy on blaming or becoming defensive. Understanding will lead to action and a remedy- doing nothing doesn’t work. Wrong time, wrong place- anyone can be a victim.

3. Build your Self-Esteem

Children need to build their self-esteem in order to handle bullies and to create a better social life for themselves. Children need constant feedback as a constructive tool for gaining self-esteem.

4. Becoming a confident communicator

Children need to improve their communication skills to deal with bullying. Children need help from teachers and parents to project a positive confident image- that is, not to be scared, but to be prepared.

5. Empowering the individual

Design a plan of action that will empower the victim. Ensure that children are well prepared to frustrate the bullies attempt to hurt them. Remind the individual that bullies love secrecy and hate publicity.

6. Develop a support network

Children who are active participants in a social group cope better than those who try to survive on their own. Children need to develop social skills to improve their support network at school. Parents need to know how to help their children develop these networks both in and out of school.

Why children with special needs may be bullied

Children can be victimised because they look different. Being physically or mentally handicapped, can set up a child for victimisation. Children who have lower than average intelligence or who are experiences learning difficulties often have problems coping with ordinary class work, and may require special attention inside or outside the classroom. This can make them feel excluded and can cause them to have greater difficultly integrating socially. Many are sensitive about their work difficulties, seeing any teasing as criticism and reacting in an aggressive or provocative manner. Children with learning difficulties will often hide their lack of understanding for fear of being teased for being “stupid. At the same time, some of their peers may resent these children receive special attention and this can be a reason to bully them. Another reason that children with special needs can be bullied is because their peers do not understand the child’s disability. Rather than trying to understand why the disabled child is different, it is simply easier to bully them.”

Effects of bullying

Some people believe that while bullying can be hurtful and painful, they fail to realise the impact it can have in a child’s life. Bullying, whether it be social, emotional, physical or psychological, can cause a range of short and long term effects for both the bully and the victim

Effect for the bully:

* After a while the bully loses their power, his popularity will diminish and they can end up being a social drop out

* After a while the bully’s friends can get tired and reject their manipulative ways

* Due to their inability to deal with conflict or violence they have problems in relationships later in life both platonic and intimate.

Effects for the victim:

* Bullying can lead to poor self-esteem, bouts of depression, and social isolation in adulthood

* They continued to be bullied at work or at home. They are easily taken advantage of

* The quality of education they receive is often severely diminished

* They are scared to socialise and find it hard to make friends, as other children fear they will be bullies for being friends with that person

* The friends they do make would probably not be caring or consoling and probably would not support them in times of need

* Children can develop a sense of hopelessness. Due to constant bulling the feel powerless and cannot see beyond the constant fear and depression.

* In extreme cases, due to the constant barrage from bullies over an extended period of time some children can develop suicidal tendencies. This may not be as relevant in the primary years but it is the lack of stopping it at this early age, which can prevent this from happening.

James is the most popular boy in his grade. One day at school he made a mean remark to one of the boys in his class- not intending to be nasty, he just did not think about what he was saying. His friends all laughed and though this was funny and encouraged James to keep acting this way towards the boy. Although he did not want to, James continued this behaviour.

Why might James have felt like this? What are some ways he could have stopped this behaviour from happening?

Jenny just moved to Australia from New Zealand. She did not realise that she had an accent until she was at school and heard other girls whispering about how weird she spoke. Although the girls did not say anything directly to her, Jenny could always hear them whispering about it.

What type of bullying is this and how might Jenny deal with this?

Simon is young for his year and is quite gifted at school. He is exceptionally bright but has very poor social skills. He feels (and quite often tells them) that he is superior to his peers. He boasts about his achievements and will cut people off when trying to talk to him as they are incapable to carry on a “intellectually stimulating” conversation with him. Due to this people avoid him and he is starved for attention and often disrupts the class.

What are some ways in which Simon can be helped? How can this be done?

Maria knew that she was not the most popular girl at school but she has many friends. One day at school there was a note going around that had a nasty rumour about her on it. These notes kept appearing on a regular basis, but as hard as the teacher tried they could not find the origin of where they were coming from.