Anger management is a range of steps and processes that can help someone to manage and reduce their anger. This can involve altering the way they think about certain things that make them angry and changing the ways they react to anger to be constructive, rather than counterproductive.…
What is bullying?
Bullying is the use of power by a person or group of people to intentionally cause physical or psychological harm to another person or group of people. It includes humiliating, demeaning or threatening behaviour and can occur anywhere - at school, home, at work or online .
Signs your child might be being bullied include:
- Unexplained bruises, scratches or other injuries;
- Missing or damaged belongings and clothes;
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns;
- Frequent fluctuations in mood, or anger problems;
- Feeling ill in the morning or not wanting to go to school;
- Changes in the route they take to school;
- Appearing insecure or frightened;
- Their grades at school fall;
- They are often 'losing' money or stealing, and;
- They refuse to talk about what is wrong and become withdrawn.
Although anyone can be a victim of bullying, some people are at greater risk of bullying than others, including people who are:
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex;
- Perceived as being weak and unable to defend themselves;
- Less popular than others;
- From a poor socio-economic background;
- Low in confidence and self-esteem;
- Experiencing depression or anxiety;
- Disabled, or;
- Perceived as annoying, antagonistic or attention-seeking.
When people think of bullying, a lot of people think of the physical element of it, but there is also an important psychological element to bullying. You don't have to punch someone to hurt them. Verbal abuse can also be very hurtful.
Cyberbullying can occur on the Internet in social sites such as social media sites, chat rooms, video chat and blogs. Cyberbullying can often be difficult to identify, but it is just as important to address. It can include things such as:
- Impersonating someone else online;
- Spreading rumours or lies about someone;
- Tricking others into revealing private information;
- Posting pictures of others without their consent, and;
- Sending people mean messages.
Examples of workplace bullying include:
- Refusal by colleague(s) or a boss to acknowledge your achievements and contributions;
- Isolation or separation from colleagues;
- Having unrealistic goals set for you, which then change as you near accomplishing them;
- Being singled out or treated differently to others;
- Having your work or credit stolen or plagiarised;
- Being given more responsibility, but less authority;
- Being given too much work causing an overload;
- Having significant work replaced with menial tasks, or not getting enough work;
- Not being trained to perform duties you are expected to perform, and;
- Being humiliated, threatened, patronised or demeaned, either in private or in front of others.
Dos and don'ts
If your child has experienced bullying, do not:
- Tell them to ignore it;
- Blame a young person for being bullied, or assume they have provoked it;
- Criticise how they have dealt with being bullied;
- Contact the bully or their parents, or;
- Encourage your child to retaliate or 'fight back'.
- Let them know you are glad they told you about it;
- Listen to what they have to say;
- Reassure them that you will take helpful action;
- Collect evidence such as screenshots, if the bullying is online;
- Contact a teacher and/or principal to discuss finding a solution, and;
- Contact school authorities if bullying continues after speaking with the principal.
If your child is bullying other children, do:
- Stay calm and talk to your child, focusing on this specific aspect of their behaviour rather than on them generally;
- Explain why their behaviour is inappropriate and make sure they understand;
- Give them clear boundaries;
- Encourage them to think from the other child's perspective ('would you like it if someone did that to you?');
- Teach them there are more positive ways to interact with others than asserting their dominance or control over them;
- Teach them social and conflict resolution skills, and;
- Take the opportunity to reflect on the behaviour of others within your family, as children tend to copy their family members.
If you are being bullied at school, do:
- Look the bully in the eye and tell them to leave you alone;
- Walk away from the bully, and;
- Tell an adult or teacher.
If you are being bullied in the workplace politely ask for the behaviour to stop. If this does not work, have a neutral person mediate a discussion and try to arrive at a resolution. If this, too, does not work, or if the bullying is serious, file a report as specified in your organisation's policies and ask for a formal investigation.
Schools and workplaces can work to prevent or stop bullying by:
- Creating policies and rules, including a mission statement, code of conduct and reporting system to assess how often bullying happens and how it is responded to;
- Providing training to staff members or teachers about the school or workplace policies and rules, as well as training in the conflict resolution skills needed to intervene to enforce them when necessary, and;
- Establishing a culture of acceptance, respect and inclusiveness, and reinforcing it at staff meetings and school assemblies.
- Australian Psychological Society?: Parent guide to helping children manage conflict aggression and bullying. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
- Best Practices for Preventing or Reducing Bullying in Schools. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
- BMC Public Health | Full text | Early Risk Factors for Being a Bully Victim or Bully/Victim in Late Elementary and Early Secondary Education. The longitudinal TRAILS study. Accessed 22 August 2014 from link here
- Cyber-Bullying - cyber-bullying-no-crops.ashx. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Equality | Bullying. Accessed 22 August 2014 from link here
- National Centre Against Bullying. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
- Preventing and Responding to Bullying at Work - bullying_at_work_2054.pdf. Accessed 22 August 2014 from link here
- RACGP - Bullying - Effects prevalence and strategies for detection. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
- Risk Factors | StopBullying.gov. Accessed 22 August 2014 from link here
- Workplace bullying - Workplace_bullying.pdf. Accessed 21 August 2014 from link here
FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is bullying?
Bullying is any action that intimidates, threatens or harms another person or group of people, either physically or emotionally.
How can I raise awareness of bullying prevention in our school?
Some approaches taken to raise awareness include social media campaigns, morning or assembly announcements, posters and student surveys.
Are there different types of bullying?
Bullying can be verbal, physical, or virtual (online). It can be racially, sexually or socially motivated, or in some other form.
Is bullying really that harmful?
People who are bullied are negatively affected in a number of ways. They often lose confidence in themselves and become insecure. If subjected to chronic and severe bullying, some people even take their own lives.
Who is more at risk of being bullied?
People who are more at risk of being bullied include gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, as well as people with disabilities or who are viewed as easy targets because they are seen as being weak and unable or unwilling to defend …
What can I do if my child is being bullied?
If your child is being bullied you can listen to what they are saying and take action to help them by contacting their teacher and principal, not the parents of the child who is bullying them. If the bullying has occurred online, you can take …
How can I help prevent bullying at my child's school?
Schools can work to prevent bullying by creating policies supported by a mission statement, a code of conduct and a reporting system that allows people to assess how often bullying happens and the responses to it. Schools have to work …
How do I respond to a bully in the workplace?
If you are being bullied in the workplace, you can politely ask them to stop their bullying behaviour, or if it continues, or is serious, lodge a formal complaint and start an investigation into their behaviour through your organisation's …
What can I do if my child is bullying others?
Stay calm and focus on their behaviour and not them. Let them know their behaviour is not acceptable and explain why. Ask them to think what would happen if things were the other way around and they were the one being bullied, to help put …