Allan L. Beane, PhD, author of The Bully Free Classroom (Free Spirit Publishing, 1999) and a nationally recognized speaker on bullying, offers his insight into the topic.
At what age does bullying behavior generally start, and what is at the root of the problem?
Research indicates that bullying behavior can start as early as age 3. While it's hard to know exactly why some children become bullies and others don't, there is evidence to suggest that some children are genetically "hardwired" or predisposed toward being aggressive; it's inherent in their nature. Research also shows that children who are exposed to aggression on a consistent basis may imitate the behavior they observe. Such children, for instance, may live in an abusive household, witness their parents' uncontrolled anger, or feel neglected and unloved.
How can children effectively deal with bullies?
Children must understand that bullies have a need for power and control over others and a desire to hurt people. They often lack self-control, empathy, and sensitivity. With that said, it's helpful for children to use these strategies when dealing with bullies:
How can parents help make their child's school a safe place?
Ask the staff-development coordinator of your child's school system to train teachers, bus drivers, counselors, and other adults to prevent and stop bullying and to help victims. Ask local parent associations, civic organizations, and corporations to sponsor antiviolence workshops; and help your school system implement an antibullying campaign. Increase the awareness of the problem through articles in your local newspapers and presentations at local civic and parent-teacher meetings. In all ways possible, work with others to create a safe school and community environment.
For more information about The Bully Free Classroom, call 270-247-8521, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.