Bullies, Bullies, Bullies Everywhere
The following are some sobering facts about bullying from stopbullying.gov:
- In one large study, about 49% of children in grades 4–12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once during the past month, whereas 30.8% reported bullying others during that time.
- Most bullying takes place in school, outside on school grounds, and on the school bus. Bullying also happens wherever kids gather in the community. And of course, cyberbullying occurs on cell phones and via social media.
- Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
- Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied inform adults about the bullying.
These statistics speak to the seriousness of the bullying epidemic that infects All of our communities on a daily basis. Many of the adolescents and teens I work with on a daily basis have been victims of bullying and become hypervigilant, depressed, and hopeless because they don’t want to snitch or tattle on the bullies themselves or look for support with parents and other supportive adults. As a counselor I often arrange for parent teacher conferences to bring the awareness to school officials about bullying incidents at schools and sometimes school officials intervene and sometimes they continue on with business as usual. I hear from my clients about how anti bullying programs at their schools are just for optics and skin deep. There is no sustained support system, mentoring, or formal bully response process thus many of my clients feel isolated and alone. My job is to help them believe in themselves through positive affirmations, exercise, and encouraging them to participate in clubs, sports, and self-defense classes. The greatest part of my work with bullied kids is cultivating trust that allows them to open up and share painful experiences that they may have never told another person let alone an adult.
If you begin to detect signs of bullying in your child or teen such as social withdrawal, wearing baggy clothes even when it’s warm, disinterest in school and school activities, little to no friends, flat affect all the time, restless sleep, nightmares, and traumatic reactions to the bullying do not hesitate to sit down with your child/teen and have an open and frank discussion about your concerns. Do not be afraid to express your concerns to the guidance counselor at school, teachers, and school leadership.
If after reading this article you identify the need for professional assistance for yourself or your child/teen please do not hesitate to contact me at 704-492-0713 or email@example.com and if not me please find a therapist or counselor/life coach that you can begin working with to develop strategies and recommendations to address how bullying impacts your child/teen’s overall functioning and what can be done to be proactive.
If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net as well as read my Fatherhood in the 21st Century Blog on the American Counseling Association Website.
My new book Abandoned to PhD: Integrating meaning and resilience in everyday life has been recently published and if you would like to review and purchase please visit https://www.balboapress.com/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-001156603
Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Statesville, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 15 and 6.