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Children and Bullying: How Do We Stop It?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

“Bullying among children is understood as repeated, negative acts committed by one or more children against another. These negative acts may be physical or verbal in nature -- for example, hitting or kicking, teasing or taunting -- or they may involve indirect actions such as manipulating friendships or purposely excluding other children from activities. Implicit in this definition is an imbalance in real or perceived power between the bully and victim.” Bullying Among Children and Youth ,an article by Susan P. Limber and Maury M. Nation

Bullying Is Widespread

Just as September 11th put the subject of trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on the forefront of the news, the shootings at Columbine High School made bullying a subject of intense national interest . According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development , bullying is "widespread in U.S. schools, with a recent survey finding 29% of students said they were bullies themselves or had experienced being bullied."

Bullying Causes Long Term Problems

Duane Alexander, M.D., director of the NICHD, says about bullying, "It's a public health problem that merits attention. People who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression and low self esteem, well into adulthood, and the bullies themselves are more likely to engage in criminal behavior later in life."

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education recently conducted research on the shootings at Columbine, and 37 other school shootings. The findings indicated, "Almost three-quarters of student shooters felt bullied, threatened,



attacked or injured by others. In fact, several shooters reported experiencing long-term and severe bullying and harassment from their peers."

Intervention Programs in Schools

Obviously the problem is serious, and a thoughtful parent might want to find ways to protect their children. Many of the serious school intervention programs have developed outside of the US, with the Oleweus Bullying Prevention Program used most often as the model.

The Oleweus Bullying Prevention Program

Bullying: How to Stop It

If your child is a bully, or is being bullied, please encourage your school to start an anti-bullying program and consider getting your child some therapeutic support from one of our therapists. According to the American Psychological Association, “Many psychologists agree that to design effective bullying-prevention and intervention programs, they need to understand that a child's tendency toward bullying is influenced by individual, familial and environmental factors.”

If your child is exposed to bullying behavior at home, is exposed to destructive relationship dynamics , or has experienced trauma or abuse , you will have a great deal of power to change the situation by seeking professional help.

The EMDR Therapist Network

We invite you to explore this site and learn more about how unresolved issues from your past and present may keep you from enjoying success and happiness now, and in the future. We trust you will be pleased with the compassionate and effective care offered by our therapists.

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