Sunday, August 21, 2011, 10:07 AM
Unfortunately, it is almost here: Bullying Season.
Back-To-School: First 2-3 Weeks of School
After a week of new things to get used, children turn their attention to jockeying for a position in the social architecture at school. Some children just want a place to reside on the social ladder. Others want to move up.
Whatever their disposition, and regardless of age, most children want a place to fit in. As a result, kids typically start "performing" in front of their peers. Some show off their athletic or academic prowess, others demonstrate how funny they are. Others reinforce their level of "coolness."
Within these performances, children will make bad judgements and harass, put down or humiliate others to get attention. If those children receive a positive reaction and often times they do, they continue.
And, if unchecked, those performing children turn into bullies.
Some "experimenting bullies" will realize that they have hurt others and discontinue, some will not.
The bullies now have found their space in the social architecture at school.
After about 6-8 weeks in school, the groups have formed and in general, kids know where they fit in and where they do not. Sadly, bullied children may not have found a group or are in a group that gets bullied.
Bullies, in order to maintain their place, will regularly bully certain children to remind all children who they are and their power/social status.
At this point, some bullies will have been reprimanded and need to back off for awhile. During this time,
many bullies will reduce activity but recruit other bullies to do their bidding.
In fact, the experienced bullies actively train these vulnerable children while they lay low. Usually, the trainees are kids who desperately want to be popular and will do anything to get there.
There is typically a resurgence of bullying with the lead bullies at this time, because they feel as though they need to make a point and be seen/heard before winter break. The strongest retaliation can begin to take place here. Worse, bystanders get weary and start to ignore bullying even more.
Bullying cycles frequently run in 6 week cycles and the lead bullies will be back for more and may also retaliate if they have been reprimanded. At this point, bystanders become very fearful of their status and refuse to help bullied children to avoid becoming the next target.
End of April/Early May
This can be a very precarious time for bullied children in that, children, teachers and administrators are stressed out and burned out. There is virtually no protection and many times bullying is ignored.
Bullies will act out their hostility in very negative ways during this period. By this time, strategic bullies will have figured out how to fly under the radar and avoid being caught by adults. This empowers leading bullies to be more vicious and more frequent during this period.
While most bullied children get a reprieve from torment during the Summer months away from school, they also get excluded. And, if they join summer camps, sometime their bullies are there and feel as though they have carte-blanche to start up again.
Stopping The Bullying Season?
We have a wide variety of solutions available to all parents in our book, "When Your Child Is Being Bullied: Real Solutions" (available on amazon and www.solutionsforbullying.com). Here are few key things to remember:
Stop it early and comprehensively
Use our steps to create your own solution that works
Never ignore bullying, it will not go away, but will get worse
Never be ashamed if your child is being bullied. The bully is exhibiting anti-social, abnormal behavior and if anyone should be ashamed, it should be the bully and his family.
Be your child's strongest advocate and don't stop until you have a solution that works.
"When Your Child Is Being Bullied:Real Solutions", a step-by-step guide to stopping your child's torment and getting back to happiness as well as a plan to follow for those developing full-school wide programs designed to prevent, remediate and reform bullying behavior . Available on Amazon and www.solutionsforbullying.com.