What is Bullying Definition?
Bullying is present when there is a use of force or pressure in order to abuse or intimidate others. You may find you need a bullying definition in order to identify it correctly and initiate prevention within your child’s school or community networks. Bullying can be defined as undesirable, aggressive conduct among children that includes a real or perceived power imbalance. The behaviour is or has been repeated over a period of time. These situations have serious implications for both the child being bullied and the bully and may result in one or both having serious and lasting emotional or physical problems. Please note that this bullying definition also describes the act of cyber bullying although the cyber denotes that the harassment is done through the use of the internet or other wireless means.
How do I reach a bullying definition?
In order for behaviour to be labelled through bullying definition it must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Young people who choose to bully others use an advantage of some type in order to control or harm others. Bullies use physical strength, access or knowledge of private information and/or their own popularity or position in order to bully.
Repetition: An action is normally classified as bullying if it has or has the potential to happen more than one time.
Bullying is also identified when there are unwanted behaviours present such as a child attacking someone whether it be physically or verbally, making threats or spreading rumours. In addition, bullying involves actions such as excluding someone from a group on purpose and engaging in public ridicule.
Let’s take a closer look at Bully behaviour. Basically there are three types of bullying. These include verbal, physical and relational types of abuse and mistreatment.
If your child is being bullied verbally the bully is saying or writing mean things about him or her. Verbal bullying includes such behaviours as:
- Cruel and persistent Teasing
- Embarrassing and/or cruel Name-calling
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- Frightening Taunting
- Threats of physical harm
- Social or relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
- Ostracising or leaving another out purposely
- Encouraging other children to mistreat or not be friends with someone
- Initiating and Spreading gossip or rumours about another person
- Embarrassing another in public
Physical bullying occurs when a person’s body or possessions are hurt. Physical bullying includes:
- Inappropriate physical contact such as hitting/kicking/biting
- Spitting on someone
- Causing another to fall by tripping them
- Stealing from another or breaking someone’s things
- Using hand gestures that are mean or inappropriate to someone (2)
In addition to these, the internet and other wireless communication devices has enabled bullies to do what is referred to as Cyber Bullying. This form of bullying also involves harassment and harmful behaviour but it is done through the use of cell phones and social media formats such as facebook ® and twitter®. This form of bullying can be even more devastating than the one-on-one variety due to the very public nature of this communication.
Effects of Bullying
According to a report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Bullying among school aged children is often dismissed by adults, including educators, being characterized as a normal part of growing up. The truth however is that bullying is very injurious. Any amount of bullying can cause both children and teenagers immense and harmful tension and fear. Some young people develop destructive habits such as missing school, and acting out as a result of being bullied. In some more severe instances, teens who are being bullied may react violently and others may even consider or attempt suicide. The sad reality is that many children and teens who experience bullying are affected for a lifetime. (3)
What do I do if I suspect my child is being bullied?
A bullying culture can develop in any environment where human beings are interacting with one another on a regular
If you suspect that your child is being bullied you should not discount or belittle his or her feelings and fears. Make sure that your child knows that you believe him or her when and if they choose to share with you.
Be careful to observe his or her reactions to probing questions about bullying. For instance, if your child is starving when he arrives home after school you might ask something like: “You’re always so hungry after school. Have you been eating your lunch?” Watch and listen to his reaction and pay close attention to what he does not say.
Children are not always comfortable sharing their experiences with regard to bullying and they often choose to suffer in silence. Bullying is a very serious matter; one that should be dealt with as soon as you become aware of it. You should take decisive measures immediately to remedy the situation and stop any further bullying. This may include such actions as contacting the school’s principal, speaking with the parents of the offender, removing your child from the situation or seeking counselling for your child. Fact: Your child may encounter a bully at school, church, among family members, in their workplace, at home, or within your community neighbourhood.