Welcome to the Night Fighters of America Tips and Resources Corner! This is your corner for articles, violence prevention tips and hotline numbers for parents, teachers and youth.
Our ultimate goal is to serve the community with helpful information that helps decrease the presence of violence while becoming a resource for increasing peace, charity and stronger bonds within our community.
Let's Talk! Today's topic is: Bullying.
What is Bullying?
What Can You Do About It?
What is Bullying?
Let's begin by saying "bullying" is a cowardly act committed by someone who preys on those who appear to be weak or socially awkward. Bullies don't usually pick on people they consider their equal, but on those that are considered loners, timid, insignificant, or unable to match the strength or wits of their aggressors. It is the bully's attempt to draw attention to himself, showing how much he or she is in control by constantly diminishing the value of another.
Bullying tactics come in many forms such as: isolation, intimidation, teasing, cursing, demanding the surrender of personal items, practical jokes, racial slurs, spreading rumors, making threats, initiating physical attacks, and the list goes on and on. Cyber-bullying, through the use of social media, has now joined the ranks, becoming a part of the mounting list of ways to oppress someone.
Profile of a Bully
There are many reasons why a child may bully; however, bullies are not just limited to the tough guy types. Popular and supposedly well rounded individuals from the wealthiest of families can also be bullies. In some cases, people bully because of jealousy, unsettled quarrels; but bullying also breeds from social intolerances of someone else's physical or personality traits, their financial status, race, sexual preference, manner of dress or even intolerances of people with disabilities.
Some students also bully as a result of deep emotional or behavioral problems or out of hurt due to personal or family issues. They may see bullying behavior at home between siblings and parents; or may have fallen prey to being bullied themselves. Those who are bullied often practice that same behavior; their motive is to hurt - because they have been hurt. Then there are kids that become labeled as "misfits", never quite good enough to fit in with any group. Regretfully, "misfits" often find acceptance with gangs or groups, practicing negative and aggressive behavior.
What To Do If Your Child is Being Bullied?
Children often will not reveal the fact that they are being bullied. Perhaps its due to embarrassment; they are afraid of increased retaliation if the bully is exposed; or other times they may want to try handling the problem themselves. If your child is being bullied, but won't talk about it, there are certain signs that may give you a hint: he or she is withdrawn; stays in room a lot; skips meals; cries, has bruises or torn clothing; missing money or personal items; avoids school; there's a drop in academic performance; not many friends, talks less than normal or experiences constant mood swings.
Here are a Few Tips that May Help:
Get as many facts as possible of who the bully is. Find out if your child knows why he or she is being bullied? Where does it mostly happen? What, if anything, has been done about it thus far?
Ask if there were any witnesses; does he have any notes?
Ask your child if the school is aware of the issue. Find out if anything has been done to fix the issue.
Make contact with the school and inform them of the situation.
Ask the school about their policy and what steps they are taking.
Allow the school to confront the student and contact the parents.
Make a determination about the seriousness of the issue; Try to assist your child in any way that will not worsen the situation
Determine If the school is taking the steps needed; if not, go the next level or to the school board for assistance.
Assess whether or not a change of school or a more serious move is needed.
Suggested Fun Activities to do During the Week of
Call for Peace Now
September 22-28th 2013
Get the family involved in a worthy cause by decorating the exterior of your home or wearing black and gold for the Call for Peace NOW Movement. Click here for details
Share feelings on how to have a more peaceful environment at school, home and in your community.
Plan a Family Movie Night with popcorn, nachos and chocolate covered peanuts or raisins.
Enjoy an outing to a restaurant or sporting event.
Experience nature together. Go bike riding, walking, hiking or picnicking.
Visit a nursing home; make a small gift basket to give to someone with no family or few visitors.
Donate clothing to a local thrift store; feed the hungry; give blankets or used coats to the homeless.
Go to a local museum; historical center, or library and learn new things together.
Spend a day with an elderly family member. Have lunch; bring recent pictures of the kids.
Host a backyard mixer. Invite neighbors and friends. Plan a good mixture of food and fun things to do.
Turn off the electronics for a family chat. Share interests, concerns, goals and fears.
Encourage each other to call or visit someone they've lost contact with. Have a discussion about ways to mend broken relationships with family, friends, or associates.
Look through family photos, reorganize pictures and reminisce. Do a family video; let everyone have their own special showcase time.
Have a Family Chef Night. Everyone prepares their favorite dish or finger food for the family.
Plan a card or boardgame night like Charades, Gestures, Scrabble or Monopoly.
Show humanity by offering to cut a sick neighbor's grass or taking the trash to the curb.
Peace begins with the foundation of family and home.
Only then can we effectively spread it around.
Toll-Free Crisis Hotline Numbers
Phone: 800.4.A.CHILD (800.422.4453)
People They Help: Child abuse victims, parents, concerned individuals
Child Sexual Abuse
Darkness to Light
Phone: 866.FOR.LIGHT (866.367.5444)
People They Help: Children and adults needing local information or resources about sexual abuse
National Domestic Violence Hotline
Phone: 800.799.SAFE (800.799.7233)
Video Phone Only for Deaf Callers: 206.518.9361
People They Help: Children, parents, friends, offenders
Help for Parents
National Parent Helpline®
Phone: 855.4APARENT (855.427.2736) (available 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., PST, weekdays)
People They Help: Parents and caregivers needing emotional support and links to resources
National Human Trafficking Hotline
People They Help: Victims of human trafficking and those reporting potential trafficking situations
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Phone: 800.950.NAMI (800.950.6264) (available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., ET, weekdays)
People They Help: Individuals, families, professionals
Child Find of America
Phone: 800.I.AM.LOST (800.426.5678)
People They Help: Parents reporting lost or abducted children, including parental abductions
Child Find of America—Mediation
Phone: 800.A.WAY.OUT (800.292.9688)
People They Help: Parents (abduction, prevention, child custody issues)
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Phone: 800.THE.LOST (800.843.5678)
People They Help: Families and professionals (social services, law enforcement)
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
Phone: 800.656.HOPE (800.656.4673)
People They Help: Rape and incest victims, media, policymakers, concerned individuals
National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center
People They Help: Families, professionals, media, policymakers, concerned individuals
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Phone: 800.273.TALK (800.273.8255)
TTY: 800.799.4TTY (800.799.4889)
People They Help: Families, concerned individuals
Youth in Trouble/Runaways
National Runaway Switchboard
Phone: 800.RUNAWAY (800.786.2929)
People They Help: Runaway and homeless youth, families
The above information is provided by Child Welfare Information Gateway.