If you’re a parent, chances are you’re in the midst of all the back-to-school chaos – buying notebooks and pencils, checking bus schedules, and getting back on track with a sleep routine. Children going back to school this fall can be bittersweet for many. Balancing a work-home-school life was nearly impossible to do, and with kids leaving the confinement of their homes by next month, it looks like parents will have the chance to look forward to some alone time. But for others, this transition can be stressful. Parents not only have to worry about COVID-19 and good grades, but they also must concern themselves with the ongoing battle of bullying.  

We’re all pretty familiar with this term. Bullying has been around for ages and has found ways to manifest itself in many different forms including physical, verbal, social, or cyber. But in this twenty-first-century society, bullying has continued to be a worldwide epidemic, resulting in severe consequences for those who torment others.   

Consequences of Bullying Others 

Just to be clear, bullying isn’t a rite of passage. It’s not something ‘normal’ children must go through, nor will it ‘toughen you up’ or ‘prepare you for the real world’. Whoever came up with the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was clearly misinformed. 

Bullying is on the rise and is mainly fueled by our everchanging technology and culture. It has catastrophic impacts on victims that will more often than not last a lifetime, and although most emphasis and concern are usually on the victim, we tend to forget the consequences the bullies themselves will have both mentally and legally.  

Bullies are at high risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, and psychological distress. According to stopbullying.gov, kids who bully others are more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, get into fights, drop out of school, engage in early sexual activity, have criminal convictions, and be abusive towards partners or children as adults. If that wasn’t enough, there are also legal implications that will follow the bully for the rest of their lives. Research has found that 60% of children who have bullied others in grades 6 through 9, had at least one criminal conviction by age 24 and 35.  

It’s really important that students know that it can impact their ability to apply to a post-secondary institution, to the military, to the police, to the fire department. It can impact their ability to travel, as far as getting a passport and having those kind of privileges as well.

Kimberly Edwards from Dare to Care

Dare to Care’s Bullying Prevention Method 

Dare to Care is a unique program designed to tackle the growing issue of bullying that continues to affect children, youth, and adults to this day. Their goal is to provide tools and support that will help youth, parents, and educators to recognize signs of bullying and take action against these issues. They provide student programs, virtual learning programs, parent education, professional development, and various workshops to help individuals and communities that are struggling with overcoming this societal issue.  

While you’re checking off school supply shopping, filling out registration forms and attending Meet the Teacher Night, make sure that addressing bullying to your child is on your back-to-school checklist as well. Have a listen to our podcast with Kimberly Edwards from Dare to Care to learn how you can teach your children strategies for a safer transition back to in-person learning and prepare them for healthy relationships with others. 👇👇👇

For more information related to bullying and preparing your child for their return to school this fall, check these out: 

  • Listen to our podcast with James Ryan from BullyingCanada 
  • Download Netsweeper’s cyberbullying whitepaper  

Submitted by: Natasha Pande