An interview discussing how we, as parents can protect our children from bullying and cyber bullying.
The interview begins with these questions:
I’m Pam McMurtry, I’m a parent of seven, author and artist. I’ve worked with children for many years, as a volunteer in the schools and church and as a child advocate, I’m concerned for the well-being of all children. I have two children who have the symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome and have experienced exclusion and bullying. As I’ve studied behavior, I wondered if teaching tolerance and respect might be a proactive approach to helping end bullying.
Bullying is defined as the use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
Habitually cruelty to others who are weaker
· StopBullying.gov: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.
Pamela Layton McMurtry
Is bullying as big an issue today as it was say 10 years ago?
The NCVS (Justice Department) says that physical and property assaults have declined, but psychological and cyber bullying have increased. But 1 in 10 high school students have been involved in a fight on school campus. The scope in our culture has broadened from schoolyard cruelty to date rape, corruption in the courts and business and I believe the hyper-competitiveness of our culture has caused the problem to escalate. Studies have proven that violent music lyrics, such as rap and violent games and movies have influenced an increase in aggressive behavior.
Do you see a difference in how bullying happens today – for example social media, mobile phones?
Bullying has become more extensive and sophisticated. As the connections between people and the nature of relationships have changed, the opportunity and equipment to involve a larger “audience” has increased. Parents should set boundaries for tech equipment. Know who their kids friends are, where they are and who they are with. Follow them on social media sites and know their passwords.
With current media coverage on Bullying and Cyber Bullying is the situation improving?
Since the schools have worked to reduce bullying, physical attacks have gone down, but cyber-bullying has increased about 83%. I think parents need to become more involved in teaching their children to stop these behaviors.
How do people bully others today?
I think we see a lot of it in sports, unfortunately parents are sometimes guilty, and in competitions when people try to “psych” out or physically attack competitors. Remember the skater who was attacked a few years ago? We see it in business, with illegal contracts, people taking advantage and computer hacking. In libel and slander and as our laws are broken by both the public, judges and officials, and in the media. Our children learn from watching their parents and other adults.
Unfortunately kids in school still pick on those who are different or don’t have adequate social skills or insulation. As problems in the world escalate, you see bullying between economic classes, ethnic and gender groups and others. Some forms of bullying include: physical attacks, destroying property or clothing, calling names, starting rumors, cyberbullying.
To read more - please click here: http://nobullying.com/pam-mcmurtry-defines-bullying/