BULLYING: Where does it start… How can it STOP?

By April 27, 2019 No Comments

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a repeated aggressive behavior which happens due to a power imbalance and the intent to cause harm.

Bullying can be destructive and persistent as well as subtle enough that teachers and parents are not aware of it. Since bullying can lead to long-lasting psychological, emotional, and physical problems, it is essential for teachers and parents to understand bullying and its prevention.

Causes of Bullying.

There are a lot of causes for bullying regardless of a child’s gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status, Like:

  • Differences in appearance, social status, race, and sexual orientation.
  • Bullier having low self-esteem; however, others that have much higher self-confidence. Bulliers with high self-confidence tend to lack compassion and empathy and can respond aggressively whenever they feel threatened.
  • Bullier’s need for attention and the desire to be perceived as brave and confident can cause them to bully.
  • Children who experience issues at home, such as abuse and neglect or a divorce, can cause them to bully others due to despair, anger, or jealousy.

Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying is saying or writing means things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumours about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Effects of Bullying.

Bullying during formative school years can have long-lasting effects on the child and the people around:

  • Poor academic performance because interest and participation in school decreases, and unexplained injuries and self-destructive behavior can occur
  • Struggle with low self-esteem, insomnia, depression, and suicidal thoughts and actions. 
  • Twice as likely to suffer from health problems, such as stomach issues or headaches.
  • Feeling powerless and confused
  • Parents and other family members of bullying targets may experience depression, anxiety, and stress-related illnesses.
  • Friends and classmates of the bullied child may feel powerless to help, guilt over not standing up for the target, and fearful of becoming the next target.

 Preventing Bullying.

  • Help kids understand bullying Encourage kids to speak to a trusted adult if they are bullied or see others being bullied. Talk about how to stand up to kids who bully. Give tips, like saying “stop” directly and confidently or if those actions don’t work, walking away
  • Keep the lines of communication open – Children really look up to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem. Ask them:
    • What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
    • What is lunch time like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
    • What is it like to ride the school bus?
    • What are you good at? What would do you like best about yourself?

Assure kids that they are not alone in addressing any problems that arise. Start conversations about bullying with questions like these:

  • What does “bullying” mean to you?
  • Describe what kids who bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
  • Who are the adults you trust most when it comes to things like bullying?
  • Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying? What ways have you tried to change it?
  • What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
  • Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
  • What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
  • Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids? How does it make you feel?
  • Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again

Encourage kids to do what they love

Help kids take part in activities, interests, and hobbies they like. These activities give kids a chance to have fun and meet others with the same interests. They can build confidence and friendships that help protect kids from bullying.

Model how to treat others

Kids learn from adults’ actions. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show the kids in their lives that there is no place for bullying. Even if it seems like they are not paying attention, kids are watching how adults manage stress and conflict, as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families.