How to Protect Your Child from Hazing

Are you wondering how to protect your child from hazing?

Hazing is defined as an action or a situation where a student�s mental, physical and academic health or safety has been endangered intentionally or un-intentionally.


What is Hazing?

‘Hazing is a common practice in college sororities and fraternities, as well as military groups, sports teams, and gangs, which involves subjecting a potential member to a series of humiliating or abusive activities as a way to initiate him or her into the group.’ (source)


Why Haze?

The purpose of hazing, supposedly, is to build affinity and sisterhood among the group’s members. It is supposed to promote loyalty for newcomers and emphasise their commitment.  (also known as a “pledge”), as it is believed people need to show they are willing to go to extreme lengths to be part of the gang.


Is Hazing Common?

According to educational experts, the incidence of hazing is on the rise particularly in relation to high schools and middle schools in the United States. While most incidences of hazing do not end-up in mental or physical scarring, some may lead to catastrophic endings including death. Thus, parents should be able to recognize such dangers early and take measures to protect their children from such gruesome acts before it is too late.


Is Hazing reported?

According to research, 92% of high school students will not report a hazing while 21% of those who experience hazing engage in doing the same in their senior years.

In total, 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year out of which almost 30% had to perform illegal acts or be subjected to humiliation (43%) during these activities. While the proponents of hazing recognizes it as necessary for building cohesiveness, positive attitudes and mental strength among its participants, the dark side of hazing do not warrant hazing to be recognized as a formal learning method.

Due to the debatable issues surrounding its existence, it is difficult for the authorities at school or the parents to agree on putting a stop to hazing. Therefore, it is up to the parents to take measures to prevent their children from being subjected to hazing as well as stop them from engaging in such acts even when it is part of an initiation ritual.

One of the important aspects protecting ones child from hazing is to discuss the issue with the child and make them understand the legal and the health risks involved when things spiral out of control.


Knowing their Rights – How to Protect Your Child from Hazing

It is important for children to know that no one has the right to violate their body and that the child does not have the right to do the same for others. Living by example is another important strategy that should be adapted by the parents as it can make children sense that their parents will act and fight for a cause when it comes to hazing and its victims.

In instances where the children are left alone by themselves or under adult supervision, discuss the possibilities, the risks and the options that need to be taken by the child in the event of hazing. Always make sure that the child has the ability to reach one of the parents, preferably through phone, and make them understand that the parents are always there for them to trust in any situation, which may turn dangerous.

Making the child realize what hazardous hazing means is also an important aspect of protecting them from danger. In this regard, the parents should have a close relationship with the school authorities and find out what policies are in place at the school or at any other site where the child could be subjected to such hazing. Knowing these facts and taking the stand that authorities should be responsible for the safety of the child is a better way to deal with the hazard of hazing in most instances.

Although parents should always weigh the pros and cons of intervening in the life of their children, hazing is one instance where they should not leave their children alone. While preparing the child to handle such situations effectively, parents should engage actively in the process of preventing such acts from taking place, especially when there is a risk of hazing being illegal, unethical or unhealthy.


Saying no

Encourage your child to develop their assertiveness skills by taking a look at my book Be Confident Be You  for Teens



also take a look here for ways to help a young person with low self esteem

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