Bullying is when someone intentionally does or says something to hurt another person. Often, this behavior is repetitive and deliberate. This is mostly done with kids, but also can be done with adults. Be aware of bullying
Our first posting about bullying had a huge impact on parents, kids, schools, churches, anti-bullying organizations and many others. We thought we would share just a few responses:
Ridgerwater Homes family,
Sending your team a big salute from our troop! We needed info on bullying for a PSA/awareness project so your ‘Stop bullying’ post is extremely helpful- the sources on it especially gave us some awesome references to include. I hope we aren’t being a bother but I like to send positive feedback when it’s well deserved! Plus I’m not super tech savvy so I appreciate how easy you made it for me lol. In the spirit of spreading awareness the boys wanted me to pass along another site we used that’s all about cyberbullying:
If you have any other tips or ideas for our presentation feel free to share but only if it’s no trouble. It’s very cool to make this connection thanks again all
John and Troop 325
I’m writing to you on behalf of my daughter, Beth. She wants to start an anti-bullying coalition at her school and said your blog, had some great information to help her get ideas for it. Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and encouragement on behalf of her and other kids. 🙂
Dear Ridgewater Team
I saw you had some fantastic information on Internet Safety on your blog.
I wanted to let you know that we’ve recently published this guide, which I think your audience will find extremely useful. If you’ve got any feedback or comments on it, I’d love to hear that as well, as we’re looking to make it the best internet safety resource possible for parents and educators alike.
You might also be interested to hear that it’s already got praise from InternetSafety101 and the National Crime Agency.
Our school benefited greatly from your blog. The deep understanding of the intricate nature of bullying behavior and links to other useful information helps us with effective solutions. I would recommend any school involved in developing anti-bullying program to do there research.
Thanks for all the awesome work you all are doing.
God Bless you in all your doing
When we hear these words like this, it touches the soul. We are a Construction Company, but it goes beyond that. I look back on my own experiences growing up and I was bullied in school. In Business as well you can be bullied from your competition, clients, trades, ex-employees and so on. It doesn’t stop at kids or school.
Ridgewater has its own Cyber Bully. They go by the name of Hard worker – they hide behind a fake name, they post negative reviews about us wherever they can to put us down and make us look bad. They try to bring our ratings down so that we look bad. They say we post fake reviews (which we do not), Yet they hide behind a fake name. Any reviews that we suspect of being fake, we ask to have them removed. We suspect that they are posting these fake reviews themselves, to make us look bad. Only places that accept reviews from anyone and don’t verify are google, Homestars, and smaller sites that we don’t use. These sites don’t care about if the review is real or fake. They allow bully’s, like Hard Worker to troll the system and hurt the Innocent. Other websites research the reviewer to make sure they are real people like Houzz. We have notified websites when we feel a review is fake. They will get removed or flagged as possibly fake.
This person has posted negative reviews on one of our past client’s company pages when they have given us a great review. This person has also written to a client putting us down, because they didn’t understand the renovation process. They did the same with a designer we were going to use on a project. Perfectly innocent people. These people are posting their own review without any benefits to them. Yet for this bully to post negative reviews about these people, well this is harassment and is bullying. This person has no life and has to focus in on us and try to discredit our work. If it’s who we think it is, this past client owes us money for work done and was advised not to post slanderous comments by our lawyers. There was a case just won in BC for Slander and the bully had to pay $115k in damages. So, if this Bully continues, it could cost him even more. But, that is something they have to live with, not us and its none of our business. But no one deserves this and this is something we would never do to someone else even this person posting all this garbage. If people are trying to bring you down, it only means you are above them.
Don’t let things like this get you down (as hard as I know it is). All we are doing is just focusing on our existing clients, and we aren’t losing sight of continuing to build our business. We can’t let one crazy jealous person distract us from building an amazing business and doing amazing Renovations !!
We have also been recognized for our charitable work over the years by different organizations like the AOK Program and the GVHBA. Ridgewater was featured in the Reno-nation section of the paper for the Fraser Valley on the benefits of upgrading instead of uprooting. Ridgewater is an award-winning builder. We were a finalist for the Canadian Home Builders’ Association National Awards for Housing Excellence for two projects. We were voted Best Renovation Company in Vancouver, We won Best BC residential Renovation project, We won Best Custom home builder. Our work speaks volumes. We aren’t out for the awards, we are here to work with the clients, educate and bring their dreams alive. Ridgewater is a proud member of the CHBA, CHBA-BC, GVHBA, RENOMARK, NKBA and the NWHPS. We are part of the CHBA-BC Renovation council, and we do seminars on renovations at different events, that is who Ridgewater Homes is. So don’t let the bullies out there get to you. If you lash out at them you are no better than them and you lower yourself to their level.
Someone once told me that the larger and better your business gets, sometimes you have people who are jealous, crazy, and you may end up with “haters” such as this. This could be ex-employees, your competition, a client that owes money and hasn’t paid, a hater, an ex, or ex-trades. It’s hard to not take it personally. But you just can’t. It helps when you get words of encouragement because even though people say don’t let it get to you, it can. But always remember, these people have issues and there are reasons they are bullies.
“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.
You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
– George Bernard Shaw
Below are a few reasons why bullies behave the way they do:
- People can direct frustrations, hurt, anger and difficulty at home, work or in class to you by bullying.
- Lack of attention from friends, parents or teachers can make a person bully you, just to feel popular and seen as ‘tough’ or ‘cool’ and in charge.
- Some kids have learned to bully from others (parents, brothers or sisters, friends). They have seen them getting their way by being angry or pushing other people around. They believe that by putting fear in you, they will have the best shot at everything in school or in your neighbourhood.
- Some people also do that because they are victims themselves.
- Bad upbringing at home can make people insensitive to other people’s feelings and emotions. They are happy to see their classmate depressed, sad and hurt.
- Watching a lot of violent films (movies and TV), and video games can make a person try out violent things. They usually try them out on people who appear smaller or weaker to them.
Some young people are bullied for no particular reason, but sometimes it’s because they are different in some way – perhaps it’s the colour of their skin, the way they talk, their size or their name.
Sometimes young people are bullied because they look like they won’t stand up for themselves.
Why are people bullied?
Some people are easily picked on by bullies. Research shows that one out of every four school kids experience regular bullying of one type or another (this may vary from country to country). People may be picked on because of:
- Their size: too big, too thin, too short or too tall.
- Skin colour: e.g.. only black in a white domination class (or the other way round), extreme skin colour from the rest of the class.
- Special needs (or some kind of physical challenge): A disability of some sort (defective eyes, style of walking, the tone of speech, body proportions) or even your name can be an issue.
- Bad temper: People with bad temper are a great catch for bullies because it is easier for them to set them off and get them angry.
- People who have no friends.
- An embarrassing event you got involved with: People may laugh and tease you because of something you did, or your reaction to something, and never let go of the issue. They will bring it up at the slightest chance to shame you.
- They are Jealous of you: You are doing better than them in school or work, you have more friends, or you are more popular than them
Looking at all the reasons above, you will notice that each of us fall short in some way. We all make mistakes. No one is perfect. This is why we should never make fun, tease, or make people sad because of something they have no control of, or a mistake they make.
Effects of Bullying
Somehow, people think bullying is a part of life, a part of growing up and an opportunity to stand up for yourself. Some kids naturally will not accept being bullied and will stand against it. Others are not that brave and will crumble at it. They end up feeling lonely, unhappy and frightened. It can make them lose confidence and interest in school. These effects are also signs that kids may exhibit when being abused by bullies.
Bullying has effects on people – both the victim and the person doing it (the bully). Let us see how:
- Kids who are bullied can lose interest in school. They may suffer physical injuries and mental health issues.
- They may suffer depression and anxiety. They look sad and lonely. They suffer eating and sleep disorders and lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.
- Kids begin to perform poorly in academic work. Some end up dropping out of school.
- There have been media reports on extreme cases where victims end up committing suicide (killing themselves) or shooting in retaliation. Some people call this tragedy ‘Bullicide’. In the 1990’s about 70% of school shooting were bully-retaliation related.
Kids who bully tend to have violent behavior as well. If they are allowed to continue bullying, they may engage in risky and more violent behavior. They will take this to adulthood.
Bullies tend to:
- Start alcohol and drugs abuse in adolescence and as adults.
- Engage in fights and vandalism. Some end up as school drop-outs.
- Engage in early sexual activity and become vulnerable to child sexual abuse and sexually transmitted infections.
- Bullies may become abusers toward their spouses and children.
Tips to help prevent bullying!
Coping with bullying can be very difficult. First, understand that you are not the problem. The problem is the bully. Like everyone else in the class or school, you have the same rights to everything, including freedom and safety. Doing nothing might suggest to him that there is no problem. Be very firm and say it straight to his face that you do not like what he does. Act brave.
Sometimes you can ignore him to let him know that you really don’t care about his comments or insults to you.
A few more tips that can help.
- Try to avoid the bully. If you have to go to a place (bathroom, canteen, games room, locker room) where you may meet the bully, try
- going with a friend. Do not go alone. Try to make friends with those who use the bus, hallway or waiting room so you can move with them.
- Try to stay calm and be patient.
Bullies feel good when they are challenged or when you loose your temper. Ignore him and walk away. If he teases or laughs at you, try counting up to 10 slowly in your mind and head for the exit. This trick is great for temper control and you always come out stronger in the end.
- Tell an adult.
Adults like your teacher, parent, school nurse, or even older friend can help. They usually have good advice and ways of ending that bully’s activities.
- Make friends.
Bullies tend to pick on people who do things alone. Try and make friends with more than one person and try to move with them. There is always strength in numbers.
- Look out for your friends.
Yes, that’s what real friends are for. If you see someone bullying another, you need to do something about it. There is a wise saying that goes “evil thrives when good people do nothing” If you feel you are strong enough to face him, you can tell him that what he is doing is wrong (Do not go and fight him, just make your point). You can also encourage the victim to report it and stand by him as a witness.
Remember that you should never do to others what you would not like others to do to you. This means you should stay well away from gangs and groups that gossip, laugh and kick others.
Bullying prevention tips for parents.
More than half of youths who are bullied fail to tell an adult about it. Parents have a role to ensure that schools and communities are safe and fair for their own children. This means helping the child to identify, reject, report or help another person being bullied is as important as training your child not to bully others.
Here are a few things parents can do.
Communicate with children:
Parents must find time to speak and get to know their kids. Talk to them every day about anything. Tell them how your day went and ask how they did. Tell them your problems and try to get them to offer suggestions to you. This way, you can also get them to open up and tell you their problems too. Most importantly, talk about bullying and the need to report it as soon as they identify one.
Raise children to be respectful and helpful:
Right at an early age, parents must stress the importance of good values. Teach them to respect their peers, be kind, resilient, responsible for themselves and others, to know how their actions can affect others and so on. Help them to appreciate that personal success is not everything, but the ability to care for, help, contribute and make a positive impact in society is more important.
Teach kids how to respond to bullying:
Parents must listen to their kids. Get them to be calm to tell the whole story. Let them know you are concerned. Try to develop a plan with them. Do not be too quick to jump into the school or confront the perpetrator’s parents. Offer simple solutions that will encourage him to work on the problem. Most importantly, keep a close eye on them and learn more about how they are improving or overcoming the problem.
Work together with your child’s school to stop bullying:
The idea of discussing bullying with school authorities can be overwhelming. But not working with them is worse. Try to be present at Parent-Teacher meetings to raise your concerns. Find out what the school policies are, and if there are anger, stress and emotional management classes for kids. Ask about how these classes are done. Ask about some ways that support staff (e.g.. bus drivers and janitors) can help. Ask about how you can also help them to make the environment safe for every kid in the school.
Types of bullying: myths and facts
Myth: It is only considered bullying if someone pushes or assaults you
Fact: Bullying can take many forms such as:
- Physical Bullying: Hitting, slapping, shoving, tripping, spitting, throwing objects, blocking someone’s path; damaging, stealing, or withholding someone’s property
- Verbal Bullying: Insults, teasing, racism, threats, hurtful jokes
- Social Bullying: Excluding someone from an activity or group, ignoring someone, talking bad behind someone’s back, spreading rumours
- Cyberbullying: Using technology such as cell phones and the internet to blackmail, threaten, intimidate, insult, spread rumours, and post private/humiliating images and videos. Learn more about .
Myth: Bullying only happens at school
Fact: Bullying can occur anywhere children interact with one another. Bullying can occur in your own home while your child is on the computer. According to cyberbullying.org, a recent study has suggested that 99 percent of Canadian students have used the Internet and approximately 48 percent of Canadian students use it for at least 1 hour per day.
Myth: Bullying is a normal part of growing up
Fact: Bullying can have serious consequences, whether you are the victim, bully or bystander. These consequences can include
- emotional distress,
- substance abuse, and in extreme cases,
- suicide or engagement in criminal behaviour.
According to The Canadian Children’s Right Council, 1 out of 4 elementary school bullies has a criminal record by age 30.
General tips on how to prevent bullying
- Bullying often includes behaviour that is socially learned. Be a good role model and teach your children about respecting others regardless of their race, cultural/religious background, gender or ability.
- Check in regularly with your children whether it is at dinner or while driving to or from school. The most vulnerable years include the transition from elementary to secondary school.
- Be aware of who your children are friends with and what they are doing online. Try to keep the computer in common areas so online activities can be monitored.
- Educate your children about the different forms of bullying and the consequences prior to it actually happening. Remind your children that they are part of the problem if they witness someone being bullied and do not say or do anything about it.
- Spend time with your children to help foster a trusting relationship. If your children trust you and know they have your support, it will be that much easier for them to talk to you when they have a problem.
- Keep in contact with other parents and school staff to stay informed on what is going on for your child.
- Encourage your son or daughter to join groups or clubs that can boost confidence and self-esteem and offer opportunities to strengthen peer relationships and form friendships.
What to do if your child is being bullied
There are signs that your child might be being bullied. Warning signs may include if your child
- avoids going to school or related social activities
- comes home with unexplained injuries or damaged/missing property
- has declining academic performance or difficulty concentrating
- has biological symptoms such as decreased appetite, complaints about stomach-aches or headaches
- has difficulty sleeping or nightmares
- has low self-esteem
- shows signs of depression or anxiety
Listen to what your child has to say. Thank them for coming forward, provide comfort and reassurance and try to remain calm.
Gather information and facts. Listen to all the facts prior to taking or offering any action.
Encourage your child to be assertive and to walk away and ignore the bully. Advise your child it would not be in their best interest to use physical force to deal with the situation.
Instruct your child to tell an adult if the bullying continues.
Look into obtaining support and resources for your child from a counselor, teacher, friend or spiritual leader. For a list of community resources visit bc211.
Report the bullying if the behaviour continues and work with your child’s school to develop a plan.
Enroll your child in activities that build confidence and positive self-esteem.
Contact the police if a crime has occurred. To make a report to the RCMP or local police.
What to do if your child is bullying others
Recognize the signs that your child may be bullying others. Warning signs can include
- aggressive behaviour towards people or animals,
- viewing violence or intimidation as a solution to problems,
- money and/or property that is unaccounted for,
- lack of respect for authority,
- difficulty concentrating in class,
- lack of empathy or compassion, and
- interaction with other people who are aggressive.
Stay calm and listen to what the school or police are telling you.
Get all of the details prior to forming an opinion. It may be hard to hear about your child’s disappointing behaviour, but try to remain calm, objective, patient and supportive.
Remind your children that it is the bullying that is unacceptable and not who they are as a person.
Discuss the issue with your child. Think of reasons why this may be happening.
Provide consequences for the behaviour.
Seek help and resources from school staff, community services, religious leaders or anyone else that you feel could be of support.
Provide opportunities to develop positive leadership skills.
Be a positive role model each and every day by demonstrating for your child what healthy relationships and interactions look like.
Additional resources on bullying
- BC 211
- Canadian Children’s Rights Council
- Public Safety Canada
- Canadian Red Cross
- Cerebal Palsy Guidance
- Breakdown of Bullying – Sent to us from Beth and her Mom, “She wants to start an anti-bullying coalition at her school and said this page had some great information to help her get ideas for it. Just wanted to say thank you for all your help and encouragement on behalf of her and other kids. :-)”
- Guild to Internet Safety
- Guild to bullying & cyber bullying – Sent to us
- How to Deal with Cyberbullying & Substance Abuse – Sent to us
- Cyberbullying statistics in 2020
- Cyberbullying Laws
It’s small things we do like this blog that can have a huge influence on others. Remember to think about what you say and do, because this can affect someone for life.
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