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Burnt Toast Blog

Nov 22nd, 2013

Fake Friending - The New Face of Bullying

by Carmen Scott

Category: Articles, Information & Tips on Parenting

As parents we all know that bullying occurs; but did you know that as kids get older, bullying becomes much more sophisticated. Like a virus, bullying mutates so that it can continue undetected and continue to thrive.

Most bullies use a combination of campaigns:

Physical Bullying - hitting, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings

Verbal Bullying - name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, taunting, threatening, making negative references about one's race, gender, or sexual orientation

Social Bullying - mobbing, intimidation, social isolation, being excluded from a group

Cyber Bullying - using the internet, social media or text messaging to intimidate, spread rumours or make fun of someone

The newest type of bullying is "fake friending", which is a disturbing trend because it is almost invisible to bystanders, teachers and parents.

A fake friend pretends to care about their victim in order to disguise their destructive actions. A fake friend wants to undermine and humiliate, without being perceived as a bully. Despite their fun loving exterior, the truth is they want to intimidate and control.

What's different about "fake-friending"is that this type of bullying goes undetected until the damage is done. Your son or daughter might be getting bullied without even realizing it, by someone who's supposed to be a friend.

If one or more of these situations are true, your child's friend might be a fake friend.

A Fake Friend:

~Gossips, teases and starts rumours about you & won't stop when asked ~Gives constant compliments, then immediately "disses" you behind your back ~Manipulates you to do things you don't want to do including revealing personal and intimate information about yourself

Remember to talk with your kids and reinforce that good friendships grow over time and not to jump into a new friendship too quickly. This means not giving out vital personal information such as a cell phone password, a locker combination, or an intimate detail about their life.

Explain it to your kids this way: if they're not willing to give parents this type of information (the people they can trust) why would they give out this type of information to a person that they have no history with.

A study in the Journal of Pediatrics, says one in three Canadian children between the ages of 11 and 16 have been bullied.

Kids, Athletics, Fitness & Sports