The start of it all

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The start of it all

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We know that bullying is escalating, but one of our biggest mistakes is not all of us are on board with the definition of what it is. Unless we talk the same talk, we'll never stop it. Let's look at what bullying is. It always has three parts to it. Bullying, first of all, is a power imbalance. You'll see one child, the bully, who is targeting another child, the victim. This child cannot hold his own due to power, physique, status. Number two, it's almost always repeated; so don't let it go one time, it's not a phase. Number three, it's always intentional cruelty. This child who is the bully is intentionally causing this child, the victim, cold-blooded cruelty. There are five types of bullying. Physical bullying is the first step. It usually starts young, and we are seeing it in our Preschoolers and our Kindergartener. It's the slam, it's the punch, it's the kick, but it's intentional. The second is verbal. It's the racial slur. It's the taunt. It's the horrific kinds of comments that we say to another child. The third one is emotional. That's what our girls do best. It used to start at Middle School, which that is where bullying peaks. It is now starting in our Elementary around Third and Fourth Grades. By the way, boys can also be relational or emotional in their bullying as well. The fourth one is cyber bullying. That is any kind of electronic bullying. It could be text. It could be on the phone. It could be an email. It could be on a website, but it's vicious, and very often, anonymous slams to another child. Finally, in High School, we're seeing sexual bullying or sexual harassment. By the way, studies just came out that says that sexual bullying is at an all-time high. Bullying is learned and can be reduced. the first step is getting on board with parents, educators, and community people and realizing what it looks like, what it sounds like and realizing that it can be stopped. I'm right now, working on a documentary that will be released where we are actually chronicling children who have killed themselves because of bullying. It's called bullycide and we are dealing with an epidemic of them. We need to realize that this is serious, so we can turn this around.

Watch Michele Borba, EdD's video on The start of it all...

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Michele Borba, EdD

Educational Psychologist

Michele Borba, EdD is a Today Show contributor and recipient of the National Educator Award. She is recognized for her practical, solution-based parenting strategies and is an expert of bullying. Michele is the author of 22 books including Building Moral Intelligence and No More Misbehavin’. She appears as an expert on shows such as Dr. Phil, The View, and CNN and is an advisory board member for Parentsmagazine. 

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