Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior/harassment among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
Educators are accountable
They must be in charge of providing a safe environment for kids and making them feel welcome. Youngsters will be more likely to report bullying if they believe they are safe from bullies in their environment (sports club, school, camp…). Teachers, coaches, and instructors must be aware of the bullying policies and protocols to understand what steps must be taken to prevent these toxic dynamics.
They must be constant in their anti-bullying efforts and alert to what is going on with their learners. If they notice bullying in their domain they must intervene promptly. They must also communicate with parents and counselors in order to have a better understanding of why bullies behave this way and intervene to change their behavior.
There are a variety of warning indicators that someone is being bullied or is bullying others. Recognizing the warning signals of bullying is a crucial first step in addressing it.
It’s critical to have a conversation with youngsters who are being bullied or who are bullying others.
Parents are also responsible
Although it is natural for parents to want to protect their children, it is critical that they recognize the warning signs and analyze the learned behaviors that they have adopted from outside the family environment.
Parents should maintain open lines of communication with their children so that they may discuss issues that concern them and identify solutions to help them gain confidence. They must also work alongside teachers to address the matter.
There are three types of bullying:
- Verbal bullying, saying or writing mean things:
– Inappropriate sexual comments
– Threatening to cause harm
- Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships:
– Leaving someone out on purpose
– Telling other children not to be friends with someone
– Spreading rumors about someone
– Embarrassing someone in public
- Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions:
– Hitting/kicking/pinching– Spitting
– Taking or breaking someone’s things
– Making mean or rude hand gestures
Indicators a child is being bullied
Keep an eye out for changes in the child. Be mindful, however, that not all bullied youngsters exhibit warning symptoms.
The following are some indicators of bullying:
- Injuries that cannot be explained
- Clothing, books, electronics, and jewels that have been lost or damaged
- Headaches or stomachaches on a regular basis, feeling ill or pretending to be ill
- Changes in eating habits, such as skipping meals unexpectedly or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Having trouble sleeping or having frequent nightmares
- Gradually declining grades, a lack of interest in academics, or a desire to avoid going to school or other activities
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of impotence or low self-esteem
- Self-destructive tendencies such as escaping from home, harming themselves, or contemplating suicide are all examples of self-destructive behaviors.
Don’t overlook the problem if you know someone who is in obvious discomfort or danger. Address the matter and seek assistance.
Effects of bullying
Kids who are being bullied
Bullied children might suffer from physical, social, emotional, academic, and mental health problems:
Depression and anxiety, feelings of melancholy and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities are all symptoms of depression and anxiety. These problems may last well into adulthood.
They have a higher likelihood of missing, skipping, or dropping out of school as well as decreasing their performance.
Kids who are bullying
Those who bully others are more likely to participate in violent and other risky activities. Bullies are more likely to:
Abusing alcohol and other drugs, getting into fights, vandalizing, and dropping out of school as well as early sexual practices.
Other behaviors and consequences connected to these early dynamics are criminal convictions, traffic citations, and being abusive of their romantic partners, spouses, or children.
When children see bullying, they are more prone to:
Increase use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Being more vulnerable to mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and lack of self-esteem. Missing or skipping school/activities.
The negative aspects of bullying have been receiving higher attention in recent years. Unfortunately, bullying is still an ongoing issue and countless people are constantly exposed to the harmful effects of it. In some of the worst-case scenarios, people have ended their own lives, believing this final act is the only way to escape their bullies.
Anti-bullying culture has never been more important for these and many other reasons.