What is Bullying? It is the wilful, conscious desire to hurt, threaten or frighten someone.
Are there different types of bullying? Yes. Bullying covers a very wide range of activity:- it can take the form of physical aggression, verbal intimidation, exclusion, extortion and damage to property.
Simple clues to look for...although victims of bullying often remain silent, changes of mood and behaviour can be indicators of their suffering. Victims of bullying feel helpless and overwhelmed by the power the bully exercises. This leads to insecurity, increased fear, loss of confidence and consequent lowering of self-esteem. This means that the victim can become even more vunerable; and in extreme cases bullying can lead to suicide. Vigilance with regards to behavioural changes is important as early intervention is crucial.
Although changes of mood and behaviour do not mean a child is being bullied, always encourage your child to talk about problems that they may be having with others. A problem shared is a problem halved.
Bullying UK is a charity which gives advice on bullying. Visit their website.
BeatBullying.org is also a resource you may wish to look at.
The Anti-Bullying Centre located at Trinity College, Dublin also gives some good advice on 'beating the bully'.
[Source: some of the above material is credited to South Side Advertiser, Belfast Edition, Issue 21]