Children who are being hurt, abused, or made fun of in school by other children are actually being bullied. Any type of verbal, physical, sexual, or emotional attack on another child can be categorized as bullying. Bullying is pretty common in schools where children come from different backgrounds and have different types of upbringing. The children who bully want to hurt others intentionally. They say mean things and attack their victims to insult them or to make them feel bad. Their main purpose is to get a reaction out of the child they are targeting, and they will go to any extent to do that.
Common Types of School Bullying
If a student harasses another student by attacking them emotionally, verbally, psychologically, physically, or through the internet, then it comes under bullying. This type of bullying can be done in school, community, or any place outside the school. School bullying is very common and it has now moved to cyberspace as well. Below are some of the most common types of bullying done in school:
- Verbal bullying which includes name-calling, harassment, teasing, and blaming.
- Spreading rumors
- Damaging property
- Cyber bullying via text messages, email, and social media messages.
- Exclusion from friends and classmates.
The students who bully other students often have large group of friends. All of these friends act as their support system, and help bully others with them. This makes bullies look strong and powerful, which is the reason that victims feel helpless and scared.
The Effects of Bullying
Bullying is something that not only affects the student who is being bullied, but also impacts other who are involved in it including the bullies and bystanders. Let’s find out how bullying affects everyone involved.
The children who are bullied in school develop social, psychological, and physical issues. Constant bullying affects them so much so that it begins to reflect on their studies, performance, and health. The children who are bullied become depressed. They start to feel lonely and cannot seem to find happiness in anything. In worst case scenarios, bullying also often results in suicide.
The children who are bullied begin to develop eating disorders and have trouble sleeping. These problems begin to affect their health and quality of life, which causes prolonged mental problems. Such children also begin to lose interest in school and because they know they will have to face bullies, they stop showing up to school. Their grades also drop, resulting in an overall performance decrease. The children who are being bullied often end up taking drugs and getting addicted to them. They might also physically hurt themselves.
How to Prevent Bullying?
The children who are being bullied do not tell their families about it. They feel ashamed and scared, which is the reason they are most likely to hide it. However, if they share it with you or they show up beaten up, you should take immediate action. It is best to call the school and inform them about the incident.
Because bullying is a negative phenomenon and proof of bad behavior, schools take it very seriously. So, when you tell them the whole story, the school administration will keep an eye on the bullies. Talk with the principal of the school and design bullying prevention strategies. Ask the teachers to give you a solid plan and tell them how this is affecting your child’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
Some of the things that schools can do to help stop bullying are given below:
- Assess students in school.
- Implement new rules and policies against bad conduct and bullying.
- Create anti-bullying curriculum to educate students.
- Educate school staff to be stern with bullies.
- Set-up clear punishments for bullying.
- Contact with parent or guardian explaining the situation.
When schools implement things like these, it becomes easier to control bullying and warn children about its dangers. It is also important to educate all the students that bullying comes under bad behavior and can destroy someone’s life.
If need be, schools should present real-life bullying stories to students and show them the effects of bullying. This will make them take the matter seriously and refrain from getting involved in it.
Building Self-Esteem in a Child who is Bullied
A child who is bullied in school will get scared, depressed, and influenced by the bullies. Because bullies are always the stronger party, the bullied get intimidated and fail to take any action. However, if you build self-esteem in your children from the beginning, it will become impossible for the bullies to hurt them.
Children who know their strengths and weaknesses are more confident. They know their self-worth, which is the reason they do not get affected by others. That’s the reason bullies only target the weak. They know that a weak child will not react or fight with them, but will get affected by their behavior.
If you encourage your child to be social from a very young age, then there is a high chance that they will have positive relationships with their peers. When they get along with others, they will be easily accepted by their class fellows.
Positive remarks and words of encouragement are always great for boosting your child’s self-confidence. When a child will be comfortable with themselves, they will not be affected by someone else’s taunts, threats, and verbal abuse. You should also teach your children to be assertive. Tell them that it is okay to stand-up for yourself. But you should make sure you clearly define them the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. Tell them to defend themselves without losing their temper or snapping at others.
Bullying is something that makes a child feel week and depressed. These feelings of depression might sometimes elevate and make a child want to hurt themselves or put an end to the torture by taking their lives. Bullying is horrible and if you don’t want your child to experience it, make sure you build social skills and self-esteem in them. When your child knows the right way to handle the situation, they will be able to protect themselves from it.
If your child is being bullied, make sure the relevant people are involved and aware of the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support as there are many support groups out there for children and parents. The sooner the issue is dealt with your child can start enjoying themselves again.