Parents and caregivers also need to know the different kinds of bullying that today’s kids face. Because things have changed over the years.
For example, while the stereotypical bully is male, girls are just as capable of bullying.“Boys are more physical, more aggressive, kicking, pushing and shoving,” Bhargava says. “For girls, it’s more of a relational aggression.”Girls tend to bully others by trying to control or dominate a person, excluding others from social situations and spreading rumors.
It’s a sneakier approach, which, she says, is becoming more common, even among girls in earlier grades.
Another form of bullying is cyberbullying. Typically carried out using the latest technology. Examples can range from hurtful postings on social media sites, and threatening or hurtful e-mails. Cellphones also made it possible for bullies to send intimidating. To seem hurtful or threatening text messages and/or photos to their victims.
It’s too common,” says Frank Griffits, a detective with the computer crimes unit of the Scottsdale Police Department. Griffits has seen, for example, kids create impostor Facebook pages to hurt and degrade someone they don’t like. All it takes are a few untrue posts or comments on the fake page. Perhaps about the person’s sexual orientation or attitude toward other races—to essentially spread a lie to an untold number of people. What makes cyberbullying even easier is the fact that teens and tweens often share computer passwords and profile information.
Combine that with the on-again, off-again nature of friendships during these years and you end up with problems, he says. The former school resource officer is also dismayed at the prevalence of“sexting,” the sending of sexually inappropriate text messages or photos via cell phone. When a message or photo is sent without someone’s knowledge—say, for example, a spurned boyfriends ends a revealing photo of his ex-girlfriend to his friends in an attempt to hurt and embarrass the girl—the situation equates to cyberbullying.
Younger kids are getting more involved in sexting and sexting-related incidents of cyberbullying.
Every preteen these days seems to want a boyfriend or a girlfriend, Griffits says.“They don’t realize the magnitude of what they’re doing .When they pose for an inappropriate photograph or write an unseemly sentence,” he says.“They don’t understand how that can be used against them.”While cyberbullying may give the bully a rush because of the apparent anonymity often involved, Griffits says there actually is very little anonymity.
Nearly any cyberbullying attack is “almost always traceable,” he says, which is why so many people turn to law enforcement for resolution.And when law enforcement gets called in, bullies