I must admit, I became a police officer because I do not like bullies. My mission was to rid the world of bullies, one bully at a time. Can we completely stop bullying, no…but can we train ourselves and our children on how to react and deal with a bully that minimizes the negative impact to us, and our children? Absolutely… 100%... YES!
Bullying in schools and in cyberspace has been a hot topic. It is not only children getting bullied, but adult bullying is more widespread than you might think. It may take place in the home, the community and the workplace. I have experienced and witnessed bullying in the workplace myself. There’s always going to be people around, and for whatever their reason, do not want you to succeed, want to embarrass you, or want to take credit for your work. The challenge is to identify those people and steer clear of them as much as possible.
In Beth Rosenthal’s book Bullying, a 2007 poll found that one-third of workers, or 54 million Americans, reported workplace bullying. Even when bullying is not physical, as in the case of domestic violence, it is usually verbal and mental, leaving no physical scars. Bullying can create long-lasting effects such as stress, depression, shame and low self-esteem. Harmful health effects can include insomnia, high blood pressure and digestive problems to name just a few.
I’ve outline 10 questions below to discuss with your children to identify if they are being bullied.
Before we can teach our children to stand up to bullying. We, as parents, must check ourselves to ensure we are not unknowingly teaching our children what we are modeling in our own lives.
I love quizzes. I have a 10-question quiz for your children and a separate 10-question quiz for adults below.
Take this quiz to identify if your child, you or someone you know—might be the victim of bullying:
1. Does your child avoid using the school restroom? Sometimes children avoid going to the bathroom in fear of being harassed or bullied in the bathroom. This is an easy location for a bully to intimidate their victim.
2. Does your child come home with unexplained bruises, torn clothing, missing school supplies or lunch money?
3. Has your child changed their route to and from school, or to and from class? If they have, what is the reason?
4. Is your child visibly shaken after using the computer, or when a text comes in?
5. Have your child’s sleep habits changed?
6. Does your child tell you they are being bullied? Believe them! Inquire further.
7. Ask your child who they eat lunch with. Being excluded is also a form of bullying.
8. Do others make fun of, say hurtful comments, spread untruthful information about your child?
9. Does your child have a physical reaction (such as headaches, stomach aches) if they interact with others who hurt their feelings?
10. Ask your child if they know what to do if they are bullied or witness bullying. Having a plan in place is the best way to be prepared in case it does occur.
1. My partner repeatedly insults me in front of our friends and/or children and then tells me, laughing it off, that I am too “thin-skinned.”
2. My partner is jealous and hostile when I spend time with my friends.
3. My partner controls all of our finances; I have to ask every time I need money for even our most basic expenses.
4. My partner denies what he/she said just days or even hours ago and then acts as if I am losing my mind.
5. My partner threatens to leave and implies he/she will harm himself (or me) if I do not go along with what he/she wants.
6. My mother (or anyone else) criticizes how I look and what I wear whenever I see them.
7. My sibling (or anyone else) is always trying to stir up trouble by lying about me and setting me up against other family members.
8. My father (or anyone else) is charming and kind when people from outside the family are around, but when alone with me he is manipulative and mean.
9. My neighbor (or anyone else) shouts and makes threatening comments when I do the slightest thing that he/she thinks is wrong.
10. My co-worker/boss finds ways to sabotage my position in the company including spreading nasty rumors about me. (Oh boy, this one hit home with me!!!) and takes credit for my ideas and then threatens to demote or fire me and /or assigns tasks with impossible deadlines and berates me in front of my co-workers and/or puts down any ideas I put forth, cuts me off when I am talking, and makes sarcastic remarks at my expense!
If you answered true to some of these statements, you or your child MIGHT be the victim of a bully or workplace bully. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like support in dealing with this issue.