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In this section, we will discuss explaining a definition of bullying to students. We will also discuss explaining three reasons a child might become a bully.
Now, let’s talk about a definition of bullying.
When Andrew, age 8, came to see me, he was having stomach aches almost every day. Andrew’s dad was worried, because Andrew almost always seemed too sick to go to school. I asked Andrew if he was having trouble at school. Andrew said, "Well… there’s this big kid, Billy, who’s been really picking on me. He makes fun of my glasses a lot! Then the other day my mom made me where this shirt that was kinda girly... and Billy started calling me ‘Andy Panties’. The other kids think it’s real funny. I just don’t want to go to school anymore if everyone’s just going to call me names and pick on me."
I asked Andrew if he knew what a bully was. Andrew said, "Sure. A bully is a mean kid who punches you and takes your lunch money."
It is true that some bullies are physically aggressive. But bullying doesn’t just mean hurting someone’s body. One definition of bullying that I use is: "Bullying is any kind of ongoing physical or verbal mistreatment, done with the intent to harm, where there is an imbalance of power between bully and victim." I stated to Andrew, "Basically, bullies make other people feel bad by using words, actions, or physical violence."
I stated to Andrew, "What do you think the most important thing to do is if you are being bullied, or if you see someone being bullied? I think that the most important thing to do is to tell a teacher or other grown up. Sometimes, the thought of going to a teacher can be very frightening." Andrew said, "If I go to my teacher, Mrs. Ames, Billy will get in big trouble! And he’ll know it was me who told on him! That’ll just make things worse!" Has your young client ever felt like Andrew?
Understanding Bullying from the Bully's Perspective
♦ 1. Not have very good self esteem
♦ 2. Someone else has been mean to the bully
♦ 3. Has been taught to behave
In this section, we have discussed explaining a definition of bullying to students. We have also discussed explaining three reasons a child might become a bully.
- Roberts, Jr., Walter B.; The Bully as Victim: Understanding Bully Behaviors To Increase the Effectiveness of... ; Professional School Counseling, Dec2000, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p148
In the next section... we will discuss ‘Turning Insults into Compliments’ for helping students cope with bullies.