Every youth and most likely any adult that uses electronics and social media will unfortunately face the newer phenomenon of cyberbullying, but we cannot forget about bullying itself.
Kid-friendly Definition: Bullying is when you keep picking on someone because you think you’re cooler, smarter, stronger or better than them.
Adult Definition: Bullying is unwanted, behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
As an individual with a master’s in social work and having worked for the past 21 years in the field as a certified social worker and as a case manager, I must say each person should be responsible for their behaviour. Youth who are bullies quite often know what they are doing. Young youth bullies may not fully comprehend why they are behaving the way they are towards others.
One who bullies does it for a variety of reasons; self-esteem, power, potential mental health issue(s) – not diagnosed or possibly diagnosed, anger issues, and lack of support or too much support/encouragement from fellow students and friends. One can find all this information on various government websites and sites that focus specifically on bullying.
Parents, youth, educational staff, community members/adults need to learn the signs and step in way sooner than they do currently. To me it is all about awareness, learning the signs, the symptoms, and referral(s) to proper support. It also means parents and educational staff need to arm themselves with information, attend workshops and training sessions, and be on the look out for bullying behavior in youth-all ages.
There are two components in the above definitions of bullying for kids that make bullying unique.
- Bullying is a repetitive act that occurs over time. This differentiates bullying from aggressive acts that occur only once.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.
Of course, bullies need not be physically stronger than their victims. Instead, this imbalance of power that occurs in bullying can come from numerous sources including:
- Being more popular
- Being stronger
- Being smarter
- Having a higher social status
Support Hotlines in Canada and the USA:
1-800-668-6868 Canada Kids Help Phone.
1-800-399-PEER Peer listening line for those under 25 years old.
1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
1-800-442-HOPE National Youth Crisis Hotline for crisis intervention and school tip line for reporting weapons or homicidal remarks.
1-800-999-9999 Covenant House NineLine dealing with crisis intervention and angry feelings.
1-800-784-2433 National Hopeline connects caller to a 24-hour crisis center in their area.
I will write a weekly post on the topic and each post will provide additional information that can further describe bullying and cyberbullying along with providing resources and workshop/training information.
Let me know your thoughts or if there is something specific you would like me to cover.
I would state I am open to a discussion should one not agree with what is written above, but again please note the information was taken from a government website in the USA.
Bullying and cyberbullying are way too common and need to be reduced.
Please note adults are bullied as well, both in person and online<—–cyber bullying.
That will be my topic next week with a focus on adults and their behaviour. I myself have been harassed and stalked on social media this past fall and about 6 years ago; lately I have been harassed here on this blog and by text message, and it is not pleasant.
I know how I feel so I can only imagine how a child would feel.