Do you have a child who is being bullied in school? Perhaps your child is being bullied but you are unaware because he or she is afraid to tell anyone. Or maybe you are aware of the situation but are not sure what to do.
Bullying is a common problem in schools today and appears to be getting worse. Frankly, it is an epidemic, and its effects are devastating. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying.
As a result of the increased violence in schools in the late 1990s, many schools adopted “Zero Tolerance Policies” (ZTPs). At first, ZTPs were mainly targeting towards drugs and weapons. However, schools would later extend these policies to cover physical violence as well. Today almost all school systems across the United States have a ZTP in place. The result has been a decrease in physical fighting in schools, but an increase in non-physical bullying. Bullying is more difficult to control with ZTPs than physical fighting, as it is harder to identify.
Another source of bullying is technology, which makes it easier to be bullied both on and off school campuses. Cyber-bullying is ubiquitous, as nearly every child has access to the Internet via a home computer or cell phone. This new method of bullying is even harder for teachers and parents to detect, as it extends well beyond the school grounds – into your own home.
Regardless of the type of bullying or its source, experts agree that bullying in any form can lead to a loss of self-esteem, self confidence, and self-worth. Your child may begin showing signs of anger and depression. You may also noticed a decrease in your child’s academic performance and an unwillingness to go to school. Many children are afraid to share their experiences as victims of bulling with their parents and teachers, perhaps fearing retribution. Because of this, it is important for you as the parent to recognize the signs of bullying.
Some signs that may point to a bullying problem are:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
And, perhaps more importantly, it is important to be able to recognize the signs that your child may be bullying others.
Kids may be bullying others if they:
- Get into physical or verbal fights
- Have friends who bully others
- Are increasingly aggressive
- Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
- Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
- Blame others for their problems
- Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
- Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Bullying is an American epidemic that is not going away any time soon. The question therefore becomes – What can you as a parent do to protect your child?
At LeverageJJ, we are committed to doing our part to help prevent our students from becoming victims of bullying. We teach our students how to stand up for themselves, how to resolve conflictin a non-physical manner, and how to speak to bullies with confidence. And though we emphasize the importance of neutralizing a tense situation without violence, our students are fully capable of physically defending themselves if needed. In addition, we pride ourselves on helping our students maintain healthy levels of self-confidence and self-esteem. Jiu-Jitsu is not just a way to fight back against physical bullying – the positive environment also helps to protect children from mental and emotional bullying.
We are also cognizant of the fact that just as there are many victims of bullying, there are also many bullies. For this reason, we teach our students the importance of properly using the physical skills they learn in Jiu-Jitsu and not to abuse the “gentle art.”
As always, feel free to contact us for a free trial class for your child today. Call or text us at 443-864-8505, or email us at LeverageJJ@gmail.com.