web analytics
March 2, 2015 / 11 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Problem With Bullies

Schonfeld-logo1

With all the recent attention that bullying has gotten in the media, it is not surprising that the subject is highly researched. This month in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a new study was published about the long-term effects of bullying. The psychologists studied more than four thousand children over the span of six years in three cities. The study dealt with children who never experienced bullying, children who experienced bullying in the past and present, children who experienced bullying in the past only, or children who experienced bullying in the present only. The researchers checked on the children’s mental and physical health in fifth, seventh, and tenth grade.

What the researchers found is not groundbreaking, but confirms what many of us in education have been noticing for years. Children who have been bullied in the past, and do not work through the negative feelings of self-depreciation and depression at the time of the bullying, are more likely to be depressed and have low self-esteem as they grow older. Children who were bullied in the past also tend to be heavier than their peers if their feelings of decreased self-worth are not addressed at the time of the bullying. The study clearly indicates that even if the bullying is stopped, without remediation, it carries long-term mental and physical effects.

So, what can be done to fight the long-term effects? First, we need to create a zero-tolerance plan for bullying in our schools.

 

Who is a bully?

Contrary to popular belief, bullies need not be boys and they need not be big and strong. Many bullies are girls or boys who are smaller than many of their peers. Rather than physical attributes, bullies share many emotional aspects:

  • Abuse of power: Children who are bullies thrive on abusing the social power in their hands. They want to make other people feel bad because this way they maintain their control over the people around them.
  • Self esteem. Many bullies will put other people down to feel better about themselves. On the other hand, there are bullies who are very self-confident and simply bully because they believe everyone should behave according to their wishes.
  • Lack of empathy: Children who put other people down or attack them physically lack empathy, the ability to understand what other people are feeling. They do not care how their actions negatively affect others.
  • Role models: Often, children who are bullies have role models in their home (perhaps an older sibling) who exhibits bullying behavior.

 

Children who bullies are not often brought in for social skills training or counseling. Rather, it is the victim who gets help. If schools implement social skills training in order to build healthy self-esteem, instill empathy, and create positive role models, both the bully and the victim will be benefit. In effect, a school-wide effort to teach essential social skills, could change the school’s whole culture.

Who is a victim?

While children who are the victims of bullying often have low self-esteem, it is unclear whether this low self-esteem is a result of or a cause of the bullying behavior. Below, I explain some common characteristics of children who are bullied:

  • Isolated: Victims of bullying are often loners. They spend a lot of time alone and therefore do not have a good support network.
  • Different: Children who are slightly different – either religiously or physically – will be targeted. These differences set them apart and make them an obvious target for bullies.
  • Strong Response to Bullying: Perhaps the most significant characteristics of children who are bullied is their response to the bully. Children who are bullied on a consistent basis show their hurt and anger to the bully, rather than ignoring him or her.

 

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Problem With Bullies”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Some 1,500 teens from around the world at the Chabad CTeen convention hear a personal greeting from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 1, 2015.
Ban Ki-moon Greets 1,500 Jewish Teens at Chabad CTeen Convention
Latest Sections Stories
Golan Wine Medals

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

Niehaus-022715

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

Mendlowitz-022715-Basket

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

Astaire-022715-Countryside

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It captures the love of the Jewish soul as only Shlomo Hamelech could portray it – and as only Rabbi Miller could explain it.

Erudite and academic, drawing from ancient and modern sources, the book can be discussed at the Shabbos table as well as in kollel.

I’m here to sit next to you and help you through this Purim with three almost-too-easy mishloach manot ideas, all made with cost-conscious paper bags.

Kids want to be like their friends, and they want to give and get “normal” mishloach manos stocked with store-bought treats.

Whenever he did anything loving for me, I made a big deal about it.

“OMG, it’s so cute, you’re so cute, everything is so cute.”

A program that started with a handful of volunteers has grown exponentially to include students from a wider array of backgrounds.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Schonfeld-logo1

Pioneering authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, in their book Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, outline the ways that we employ executive skills regularly.

Because I get phone calls about this all the time, I have put together a quick “cheat sheet” with milestones for reading, writing, and math from first grade through high school.

The reason behind this is that when we ask our brains and bodies to make drastic changes, our fight or flight response kicks in and we become paralyzed.

Why is there such a steep learning curve for teachers? And what can we, as educators and community activists, do better in the educational system and keep first-year teachers in the job?

With so many new cases of ADHD reported each year, it is important to help children learn how to sit still.

While encouraging your child to take responsibility for bed-wetting (like asking him to change the sheets), remember that it is important not to get angry or make him feel guilty.

As we said, you cannot get rid of a bad habit, you can only change it. But, how?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/the-problem-with-bullies/2014/04/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: