Bullying is a real problem in India and all over the world. Children of all ages can be subjected to bullying. This may come in many forms - from jokes and teasing with or without malicious intent to physical abuse.
What is bullying?
Bullying is defined as a pattern of behaviour where one person is subjected to mental pressure and physical treatment that leaves them feeling victimized and depressed.
What does bullying include:
- Constant stream of jokes and teasing about a person's appearance, behaviour, actions
- Exclusion from group activities or group settings
- Threats and intimidation
- Physical abuse like pushing, tripping, and fighting
- Spreading rumours - increasingly over email and SMS
- Rude messages on email or SMS
What does bullying do to the victim?
Bullying has long term impacts on the victim.
- Lose confidence and self-respect
- Increases worries and stress
- Poor student
- Social awkwardness
- Aggression, sometimes explosive
- Suicidal tendencies
- Obesity, as they bury their worries in food
- Alcohol, smoking and drug abuse (in older children)
What bullying does to the bully?
- Becomes unable to distinguish right from wrong, which is a critical skill
- Increases egocentricity
- Increasing aggressiveness
- Unable to face failure. Becomes aggressive and violent even in the face of minor failures
In particular, the problem seems to crop up in adolescents as children turn 12 years old. Also, boys are more prone to physical bullying while girls are more prone to verbal and social bullying.
Parents cannot ignore this real problem. Research studies often show that a significant number of children are bullied or are bullies. Often parents do not recognize bullying or if they recognize, they assume that it will be taken care of by the school. The reality is that often the problem is not recognized and the schools and teachers seldom solve the problem without the active involvement and pressure of the parent.
The following articles contains tips for parents to recognize victims of bullying and for parents of bullies.
Is your child being bullied?
Is your child a bully?