School Bullies: Coping Strategies
School Bullying - no longer a playgroung nuisance, now a real threat to your life. Here's how to cope.
Terror. Anxiety. Fear.
These are the primary emotions experienced by thousands of children each day as they head off to school - the place that is supposed to be for them an environment of safety, educational stimulus and companionship. It is no wonder that many of our kids are not achieving academically-they’re too worried about getting their brains bashed in. Yes, school bullying is a huge problem nowadays. But what can we do to lessen the chances of becoming a victim ourselves or, if we are a parent, to help our child to deal with the bully problem?
The first step is to understand what makes a bully. Bullies are made, not born. Often they are passing on the ill-treatment that they have received at home. Parents who allow their kids too much freedom and expose them to violent entertainment may also be unwittingly raising a bully. Peer pressure will often also entice a group to join in on a bullying situation.
What can incite a bullying attack? Anything that is different will do. An odd physical feature or flaw, a different nationality, even being the new kid in class can make a child stand out as a target. Children who cry very easily are making themselves prime targets for bullies. The following characteristics seem to be common among victims of bullies:
(5) low self esteem
(6) tendency to cry or flee when attacked
So, how can you cope with a bully? First, do not be tempted to strike back at the bully. Rather than being aggressive, you should try to be assertive. Firmly tell the person to stop, that you don’t like what they are doing and then simply walk away. In other words, you should take a stand and leave with dignity. Give out the message that you refuse to be a helpless victim. Bullies are looking for passive acceptance. If you deny them that, they will more than likely leave you alone in future.
You should also tell your parents immediately if you become a victim. They will give you the confidence to handle the situation. It is rarely a good idea, however, to get your parent to confront the bully directly. This will likely lead to worse problems later, when your parent is not around. Talk also to the school guidance counselor. He is trained to intervene in these situations and it is his responsibility to notify the principal if the situation continues.
By taking affirmative action, by not making yourself into an easy target and by denying the bully the chance to assert dominance over you will find that bullying will be far less of a problem for you. And that will free your mind to concentrate on the real reason for being at school-to get an education.