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Bullying Prevention: Strategies for Parents

David Koopmann EdD; Mike Treptow, LCSW; Patricia Graczy, PhD Indian Prairie School District November, 2013

Overview of Presentation
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Why important What is bullying behavior? Bullying across the ages Whos at-risk of being bullied? Warning signs What to do to deal with bullying when it occurs What to do to prevent bullying Resources Open up for questions, discussion

Why important
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15-25% of children are bullied regularly (15-25%) Bullying behavior can have significant effects on victims, bullies, and bystanders Estimated that 10% of workers have experienced bullying (Nielsen, Matthiesen, & Einarsen, 2010)

Systematic Abuse of Power (Smith, 2004)

What Bullying Is Not


It is not just teasing. !! It is not just a conflict.
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Bullying is repeated. !! Bullying is between unequals.


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Bullying Types
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Direct bullying !! Physical !! Verbal Indirect (Relational or Reputational): !! use personal relationship to harm someone !! damage standing in peer group -- gossip, shunning, having others do the dirty work

Bullying Can Happen Anywhere!

Bullying in Elementary
Direct: !!Physical abuse !!Verbal abuse name-calling, laughing Indirect !!Refuse to share !!Play or work with victim

Bullying in Middle & High School


Direct: !!Physical abuse !!Verbal abuse Indirect (boys and girls) !!Threats - wont be their friend !!Say things to harm victims reputation

Cyber-Bullying
Repeatedly teasing or spreading damaging rumors using social media !! 20% of teens at some point !! Youth who bully can be anonymous !! Can be wide-spread quickly !! Difficult to take back !! Shifts power
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Bullying in the Workplace


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Offensive remarks Being ridiculed, humiliated Social exclusion Persistent criticism of your work Given menial tasks instead of more meaningful ones

Sibling Bullying
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Far more prevalent than people realize Under-studied compared to other forms of bullying Skinner & Kowalski study with college students (2013)
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78% reported being bullied by sibling 85% reported bullying sibling during childhood Perceived as normal

Whos at Increased Risk?


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Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Youth & Adults Youths with Disabilities Youths from racially or ethnically different backgrounds Youths from different religious backgrounds Note: Violation of Civil Rights

Bystanders

Bystanders
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Bullying is group process Present during 85% of bullying activities

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Types of Bystanders
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Outsiders

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Defenders (11%)

Types of Bystanders (contd)


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Reinforcers

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Followers

Bystanders
When bystanders intervene, it usually stops bullying (Hawkins et al. 2001) !! Reduce bullying by 85% if focusing on peer interventions (Horner, 2006)
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Youth who are bullied


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Injuries or physical complaints Eating habits. Lost or destroyed belongings Sleep/nightmares Grades or school attendance Friendships and social situations Helplessness and self esteem Self-destructive behaviors or talk

Youth who bully


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Get into physical or verbal fights Have friends who bully others Get sent to the principals office or to detention frequently Unexplained extra money or new belongings Blame others for their problems Dont accept responsibility for their actions Are competitive and worry about reputation

Reporting Bullying
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DETAIL: names, places, dates, times, and behaviors Tip line (anonymous) Talk to principal or assistant principal
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Requires schools to do an investigation Possible alternate processes in the building Allows us to ask helpful questions Can offer additional support

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Confidentially must be maintained

Consequences and Student Perceptions

Consequences of Bullying
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60% of youth who bully in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24 Chronic bullying maintained into adulthood Inability to develop and maintain positive relationships About 7% of 8th graders stay home at least once a month Depression, anxiety and low self-esteem

Students Perceptions
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Youth who were bullied were at least partially responsible for bullying Agreed that bullying toughened weak person Some believed bullying taught victims behavior Considered youth who were bullied as weak, nerds, and afraid to fight back

Students Perceptions
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Low percentage of students believe that adults will help Adult intervention is infrequent & ineffective Telling adults makes bullying even worse

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Students Perceptions
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43% said they would try to help victim 33% said that they should help but do not Only 24% said bullying was none of their business.

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Responding to Bullying Behaviors

Talk with Your Child about Bullying


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Parents should be ready to: !! Listen: It is the childs story; let him or her tell it. !! Believe: Parents need to react in a way that encourages the child to trust. !! Be supportive: Tell the child is it not his fault and that he does not deserve to be bullied.

Talk with Your Child about Bullying (contd)


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Be patient: Children may not be ready to open up right away. Provide information: Parents should educate their child about bullying by providing information at a level child can understand. Explore options for intervention strategies: Parents can discuss with their child options they may have in dealing with bullying behavior.

Questions to Ask Your Child about Bullying


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Questions that may be helpful: !! Did the child hurt you on purpose? !! Was it done more than once? !! Did it make you feel sad or angry? !! How do you feel about the behavior? !! Did the child know you were being hurt?

Questions to Ask Your Child about Bullying


Is the other child more powerful (i.e. bigger, scarier) than you in some way? !! Are kids making fun of you? !! How was the bus ride today? !! Has anyone touched you in a way that did not feel right?
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Report Bullying
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Provide detail: names, places, dates, times, and behaviors Tip line (anonymous) Talk to principal or assistant principal
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Requires schools to do an investigation Possible alternate processes in the building Allows us to ask helpful questions Can offer additional support

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Confidentially must be maintained

Strategies

Strategies for Children who are Bullied


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Control anger- showing your anger makes the problem worse, makes bully feel more powerful (*Do find a safe person to express your anger to.) Never get physical or respond with bullying behavior - this shows anger and you cant be sure how the student who bullied will respond

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Strategies for Children who are Bullied (contd)


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Act brave, walk away, and ignore the child who bullied them ignoring means you dont give him/her the reaction he/she is looking for Use humor- give a compliment to throw him/her off guard. Do not use humor to make fun of the child who bullied them.

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Strategies for Children who are Bullied (contd)


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Tell an adult- faculty, staff, parents are there to help you. Talk about it- talking is an excellent outlet for fears and frustrations.

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Strategies for Children who are Bullied (contd)


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Use the buddy system- there is strength and support in numbers Develop more friendships- get more involved in school activities, regular interactions with positive friends will build your self-esteem.

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Victims - Protective Factors Really important!


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Hodges et al., 1999 Positively connected with peers in some way High peer status High quality friendships

Interventions for Children/Youth who bully: May need help...


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Recognizing their behavior as bullying or inappropriate Taking responsibility for actions Developing empathy and prospective-taking skills Finding ways to make amends Finding positive way to wield power May also have other emotional or behavioral disorders that warrant attention

If your Child bullies others


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Emphasize bullying is serious- make sure your child understands that it will not be tolerated and outline the consequences Teach your child to treat people with respect- teach children to appreciate differences Find out if your childs friends are also bullying- seek intervention through your childs school

If your Child bullies others (contd)


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Set limits- immediately stop any inappropriate behaviors, help your child practice alternatives Observe your childs interactions- utilize positive reinforcement for prosocial behavior

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If your Child bullies others (contd)


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Talk with school staff- talk about ways to encourage positive choices, peer relations, and social skills Set realistic goals- assure your child that you love them and its their behavior you do not like

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Strategies for those that Witness Bullying


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Dont spread rumors Refuse to join in when someone is being bullied Create distraction to draw child who is bullying away Assist isolated person Get adult assistance for bullying situation Speak up when they see someone being bullied

Re: Sibling Bullying


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Identify hot spots (locations where its occurring) Identify times (e.g., between time children come home from school and when parent gets home from work) Increase supervision, involve other caring individuals (e.g., other adults, friends, other siblings)

What Not To Do

What NOT to do
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Dont talk to child who was bullied and child who bullied at the same time !! talk to children involved separately Dont require child who was bullied to tell the child who bullied him/her how it made him/ her feel

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What NOT to do
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Dont assume child who bullied has low selfesteem Dont assume bullying is just part of growing up

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What NOT to do
Dont use labels like bully or victim !Labels can be harmful !Labels imply behavior is fixed and cant be changed !Labels imply that the behavior is totally the childs fault

Preventing Bullying Behaviors

New Study by Child Trends


Reviewed well-designed studies of 17 bullying prevention programs to determine what works (had at least 1 positive outcome) Key Findings: * Involving parents *Whole school approach focused on nurturing a positive school climate *Combined approach: Involving parents & whole school approach

Family Values & Rules: Respect Self & Others


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Not just teach --- live it!

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Model respectful behaviors toward others


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Very powerful way to teach your children

Family Values & Rules: Respect Others


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Reinforce family expectations: In our family we treat ourselves & others with respect. !! Make everyone feel included and welcomed !! Treat others with courtesy and respect !! Expect others to treat us with courtesy & respect !! Help others who are being picked on or bullied Reinforce family rules: Be nauseatingly consistent

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Teach Difference between Telling and Tattling


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Tattling telling on another child just to get them in trouble Telling telling on another child because they are causing trouble; telling an adult that another child IS in trouble (i.e., victim)
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being treated in a harmful, hurtful, disrespectful , or unsafe way

Do daily check-ins
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Keeps lines of communication open How was school today? Bus ride? Walk home? What was one good thing that happened today? Anything bad happen? How was lunch? Who did you sit with? What did you discuss? Lauren & the frying pan, Katie & red car, Matt & scratches

Talk directly about bullying with your children


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Discuss what bullying behavior is


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Looks like, sounds like

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What they could do if other children are treating them in a hurtful, harmful, disrespectful, or unsafe way

Talk directly about bullying with your children (contd)


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Discuss what they can do if they see bullying occurring how to help another child who is being hurt

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Discuss what parents / teachers / friends / other children can do to stop bullying

Preventing Cyberbullying

Preventing Cyberbullying:
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Establish rules about use of technology (computers, cell phones, etc.) Know what your children are doing on line

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Establish house rules re: Use of technology


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Expect child to use appropriately & be clear what you mean by appropriately Be clear that you will allow them to use technology as long as used appropriately

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Establish house rules re: Use of technology (contd)


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Tell them to think twice before saying or posting anything on-line


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Personal information Pictures Okay for strangers to see? Prospective employers?

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Tell them to keep passwords safe and not share

Know what your children are doing on-line


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Sites theyre visiting, on-line activities Friend your children on social media sites or ask another trusted adult to do so Tell them not to respond to cyberbullying messages

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Know what your children are doing on-line (contd)


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Tell them not to delete cyberbullying messages, pictures, etc. Tell them to let a caring adult know asap if cyberbullying is occurring

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And a Few Words on Adult Bullying


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Happens frequently Need to be aware of it Dont support people who bully support the people who are being bullied Adults have the right to feel safe in their environment, too.

Take Home Points: Parents are Critical to Preventing Bullying


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Children have the right to feel safe at home, in school, and in the community Make kindness pay and acknowledge your childrens respectful behaviors Model respectful behavior very powerful! Keep lines of communication open!
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With your children, with schools

Take Home Points: Parents are Critical to Preventing Bullying


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Be knowledgeable about bullying, signs of bullying, how to intervene Teach children about bullying & what they can do if bullying is occurring Teach child about proper use of technology

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Resources
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www.stopbullying.gov almost like onestop shopping!


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Videos, webisodes, written materials all free!

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