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A Guide for Parents

by Gail Matthews

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 2 of 48

Please Read This First

Terms of Use

This Electronic book is Copyright © 2009. All rights are reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or

transmitted by any means; electronic, mechanical, photocopying,

recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the copyright

holder(s).

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Disclaimer

The advice contained in this material might not be suitable for everyone.

The author obtained the information from sources believed to be reliable

and from his own personal experience, but he neither implies nor intends

any guarantee of accuracy.

The author, publisher and distributors never give legal, accounting,

medical or any other type of professional advice. The reader must always

seek those services from competent professionals that can review their

own particular circumstances.

The author, publisher and distributors particularly disclaim any liability, loss, or risk taken by individuals who directly or indirectly act on the

information contained herein. All readers must accept full responsibility for their use of this material.

All pictures used in this book are for illustrative purposes only. The people in the pictures are not connected with the book, author or publisher and

no link or endorsement between any of them and the topic or content is

implied, nor should any be assumed. The pictures are only licensed for

use in this book and must not be used for any other purpose without prior written permission of the rights holder.

Images © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation, a Getty Images company.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 3 of 48

Contents

Please Read This First ......................................................................................2

Terms of Use ................................................................................................................ 2

Disclaimer...................................................................................................................... 2

Contents....................................................................................................................3

About the Author.................................................................................................5

Introduction ...........................................................................................................6

What Is Bullying?................................................................................................7

Types of Bullying ............................................................................................................ 8

Who are the Bullies? .......................................................................................12

Where do Adult Bullies come from? ................................................................. 13

Causes of Bullying ............................................................................................14

Violent Games and Movies.................................................................................... 15

Why Bullies Target Particular Children................................................19

The Effects of Bullying ...................................................................................20

Should Your Child Change Schools? ................................................................. 20

Home Schooling ............................................................................................................ 21

How Do Children Become Victims? ........................................................23

The Onlookers .....................................................................................................24

How to Help Your Own Children ..............................................................26

Giving Advice to Children.......................................................................................... 26

Promoting Tolerance............................................................................................... 27

Signs that your Child may be a Target.................................................29

When Your Child has been Bullied..........................................................31

Dealing with the Bully and their Parents ....................................................... 31

Dealing with Your Child’s School.............................................................33

When Your Child tells You about Bullying .........................................35

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 4 of 48

Why Children Don’t tell Adults about Bullying................................................. 36

Helping Your Child to Handle Bullies. ...................................................38

Responding to Verbal Bullying. .............................................................................. 38

Improve the Child’s Social Skills. .......................................................................... 40

Are Martial Arts Courses Helpful? ......................................................................... 42

You’re NOT Alone ..............................................................................................43

Internet Resources...................................................................................................... 43

AUSTRALIA:................................................................................................................ 43

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.............................................................................. 45

CANADA........................................................................................................................ 45

United Kingdom ........................................................................................................ 45

The Next Step......................................................................................................47

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 5 of 48

About the Author

Gail Matthews is a concerned parent, not an academic. Gail is been

concerned about the problem of bullying in schools which her children

attended.

She started to look for further information and was surprised at the

extent and serious effects that were linked to bullying from children and also adults who had been bullied or were bullied in their adult lives.

Gail decided to focus her book on bullying of children because that

was the area she has had some direct experience with.

She felt there was a need for a simple, non-technical guide with

suggestions that could be used by parents like herself wherever they were located.

She believes that this book will help people to assist their children

by encouraging them not to bully others and how to best deal with bullies they encounter.

Gail also shows parents some signs that may indicate that children

are being silent about bullying they encounter.

She also includes some suggestions about how to support the

efforts of their schools and other groups to reduce bullying and deal with its effects.

Gail believes the information which she has gathered will be useful

to people, whatever their situation and location. She says that bullying is a world-wide, growing epidemic.

She hopes her book will encourage parents and other interested

people to take action about bullying and support its victims so that we can reduce the effects which bullying has on our society and our children’s

future.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 6 of 48

Introduction

This book is intended to show parents who care how to help their

children and also how you might be able to make a positive difference in

the lives of all the children at the schools which they attend.

I will help you to understand, prepare for and deal with the most

common types of bullying.

All parents have a personal stake in reducing and, where possible,

preventing bullying in their children’s schools and their neighborhood.

The effects of bullying can be very deeply felt and long-lasting.

Some victims never fully recover. There have been some incidents

where bullying has resulted in someone taking their own life and even

those of other people who were not ever part of the bullying itself.

The rapid growth of the Internet and high-speed communication by

mobile phones and other easily available methods has seen a huge

increase in bullying where the bully and the victim may be miles apart.

But, the effects can be just as bad.

We cannot prevent all bullying and I don’t believe that we can

stamp it out.

But, for the sake of our children and communities, we need to take

an active part in reducing its effects and helping our children.

Gail Matthews 2009

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 7 of 48

What Is Bullying?

Most people know that

bullying involves physical or

emotional abuse of someone by

another person who is more

powerful. That person may be

stronger physically or emotionally

or have a position which gives

them the opportunity to dominate

the victim.

A bully is not interested in a

physical or mental contest. A bully

acts against someone that they

believe cannot or will not be able to stop them doing whatever they want

to.

Most bullies make repeated attacks and demands on their victims

but even a single incident can be harmful to the person that is targeted.

Bullying usually occurs when the bully tries to demonstrate that

they or their group are superior in some way to the person they victimize.

They look for a target that is likely to offer little resistance and to

react in a way which will make the bully feel superior.

Bullies often browse the school yard near the beginning of the year,

looking for potential victims.

Most bullies seek to feed their own ego, some seek power over the

victim to get them to do their bidding and a dangerous few actually enjoy hurting their victims.

But, all bullying in whatever form can and usually does inflict

damage which can affect the victim and also sometimes those close to

them for years.

Bullies may approach their victims in any part of the school, even in

areas where adults may be present. But, most attacks occur when adults

are not about.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 8 of 48

Boys are likely to bully both sexes while girls mostly bully other

girls.

Bullies will probably have other potential victims in mind and will

switch to another target on their mental list when and if the current victim gets help or starts to assert themselves.

Victims may be targets of the same bully over a long period and are

also likely to be targeted by other bullies in later years that also recognize the vulnerability.

Types of Bullying

Bullying occurs in schools, businesses, all kinds of organizations and

groups and, unfortunately, also in many homes.

It can take many forms, physical or psychological

and each can result in long-term negative effects which

may not be obvious until long after the actual bullying

episodes.

The most common types of bullying are explained below.

Verbal harassment: This could range from teasing

to deeply offensive insults. Be aware that teasing, which

many people regard as a minor annoyance, can inflict real

hurt on the victims.

The bully will usually target the other child’s ethnic

background, clothing, speech, appearance, mode of speech or sexuality.

The venom in the words will have added sting because of the bully’s

manner and implied physical threat.

Violence: This is probably the most common type of bullying

behavior. It can vary from:

Theft: Bullies might steal their victim’s property just to upset them, because they want the item or so they can sell or trade it with other

children.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

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Physical harassment: This may range from annoying pushes and

pokes to actual sexual assault. The amount of sexual harassment

experienced by older school children has surprised researchers.

Damage to personal property: Bullies will sometimes destroy

personal property as a means of intimidating their victim. Sometimes they will target the victim’s homework, textbooks and other study material

which can cause trouble for the victim with their teachers when they are

unwilling to explain why their work is not up to standard and their books are damaged.

Threats: The victim may be threatened with physical attack or

other punishment just for the effect on them or it may be used as a

means to get the victim to agree to do something which they would not

normally do, such as stealing or whatever else the bully wants them to.

When the child does what the bully has demanded, they think they

have no option but to do whatever the bully demands of them later on

because they fear exposure of the original theft they were forced to do.

Social exclusion: This

is where the bully and the

group which supports him or

her prevent the victim from

enjoying their company or

taking part in their activities.

This discrimination in

social situations by actions or

threats which exclude the

victim from a group or activity

without good cause was

described as one of the most

hurtful forms of bullying.

There is no physical damage but the emotional impact is intense and

continuing.

It is commonly accepted that girls may use this more often than

actual physical attacks.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

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The victim has to watch the interaction of the group every day while

knowing that they cannot take part.

It can be equally devastating for a male victim as the desire to be

part of the group is very strong for both sexes.

The enforced loneliness is made worse by the knowledge that there

is no good reason for them being excluded.

Hazing: Some groups require anyone that wishes to become a member to submit to rituals or activities, sometimes called “hazing”, that may be

degrading, involve violence and even be dangerous.

The successful participants endure the experience for the chance to

be accepted in the group. Then, they take part in the initiation of future prospective members.

This may be regarded by some people as a form of ritualized

bullying but the members would say it is “just a tradition”.

Long distance intimidation:

Most bullying occurs in face-to-face

situations but there has always been

some bullying which was done over a

distance.

Some bullies used to mail poison-

pen letters or secretly insert notes with

similar content into their victims’ bags

or lockers. That way, they could be far

away when the target opened and read

the message.

But, the development and spread

of low-cost technology has encouraged

a significant and growing amount of

bullying where the target or victim is contacted on their own mobile phone or similar device or over the Internet with a text or verbal message.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

Page 11 of 48

The bully can deliver threats or lies and slurs with, usually, much

less chance of being called to account.

The letters and scrawled notes could be just torn up and disposed

of, but the electronic messages are much harder to ignore and their vile

contents can be sent to hundreds of people in a few minutes. Sometimes,

a bully will send dozens of messages in a short period of time, aiming to cause maximum distress.

A related form of harassment which is affecting more children, and

even adults, each year is the spreading of malicious and usually untrue

comments and stories about them through messages to third parties in

internet chat rooms.

This can be particularly hard to deal with because the victim may

not even know that this is happening until a friend tells them about a

message they’ve seen.

By that time, the messages and rumors could have been read by

hundreds of people and spread even more widely.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

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"How to Stop Bullying" by Gail Matthews

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Who are the Bullies?

It's disappointing but

true that almost every child or

adult has the potential within

them to be a bully. Even if

they do not take that role,

they could become part of a

group that support a bully,

either actively or passively, in

their attacks.

Some children or adults

that may not usually try to

intimidate anyone will bully

others when they get an

opportunity to exert power

over another individual and believe they have little chance of ever having to be accountable for their actions.

This is like people that are honest in all their day-to-day activities

but might take money from a wallet or purse which they find in the street if they believe that there is little chance that they could be found out.

Sometimes, a child may use bully tactics on another child to gain

some advantage without understanding that they are bullying them. They

might say, “It was just a bit of fun” because they do not realize or care about the possible negative effect on their victim.

In a later section, I will explain some ways that you might use to

help your children learn how to recognize and avoid using these tactics in their interactions with other children.

No form of bullying is ever excusable because there are always

negative effects on the person who is targeted.

Children who bully others are more likely to beco