Most people probably think of bullying in terms of the mean and physical taking advantage of the smaller and weak. Many movies and television shows feature the mean bully beating down the smaller or weaker victim. Many of us grew up around the kid that would be voted most likely to serve time in prison. Even if he didn’t bully you, it was known that it was a good idea not to get on their bad side. What are Bullying Names?
In fact, verbal bullying is just as harmful to victims as physical bullying, often, verbal bullying starts with name calling. Typical bullying names would be to call an overweight person “fat”, someone who wears glasses, “four eyes”, a homosexual “fag”, and ethnic minorities by the most derogatory slurs possible.
Name calling can take the form of jokes and good natured ribbing, both among children as well as adults. Funny out of the box nicknames among family members and friends can be characterized as harmless.
However, there is a thin line between good natured name calling and the potentially harmful verbal bullying. Things can begin to get out of hand when the target of the name calling becomes offended, and may even ask that it be halted. If the name caller persists in their behavior, then the activity reaches the level of bullying.
This can happen in many places to any type of person. Typically, when it comes to children, school is a likely venue for bullying names and verbal abuse. I can occur in the classroom, school halls, or after school. Bullying that takes place online is called cyber-bullying.
Of course, verbal bullying is not limited to children, Adults use verbal bullying against other adults in the workplace, social situations, and even in the home among spouses and family members.
For parents, these are some of the warning signs found in children when they are a victim of bullying.
* If your child has a sudden change in eating habits; eating much more or less than normal.
* If your child seems fearful about going to school, or keeps coming up with reasons not to attend at all.
* If your child becomes suddenly less social, and their number of friends decreases sharply.
* If your child seems to be helpless and incapable of functioning properly.
* If your child speaks of wanting to commit suicide.
* If your begins to behave in an uncharacteristic manner.
* If child suddenly avoids places he once frequented, or is reluctant to go outside and play.
* If your child feel more inadequate than normal for a prolonged period of time.
* If your child develops a sleeping disorder.
* If your child takes the blame for all the problems that happen to them.
Bullying name calling can have several negative consequences on teens and children. Here’s a lift of the major consequences.
Name calling done in a bullying fashion will erode the victim’s self esteem. As an example, if an over weight child is called fat and out of shape enough, they will still see themselves as fat even if they lose a substantial amount of weight and get into top physical condition, This can prompt the early stages of several well know types of eating disorders.
Victim’s Belief System Erodes
When children are bombarded with negative feedback about their belief system that may be different from the norm, the child may succumb to peer pressure. If a child is called “square” and out of it long enough they may turn to “gangster” behavior to prove his or her tormentors wrong.
Feeling safe and secure about your life is important to both children and adults. For children and teens, being hit with verbal abuse can throw them out of kilter. Victims can become hostile or withdrawn. They may shun their once favorite activities.
Victim Has Identity Trouble
If bullying labels are repeated enough, the perception is reality syndrome kicks in. If a bully calls someone stupid long enough in front of others, the “stupid” sinks into those that hear it, and even to the person that is the target.
Some name calling bullies will escalate from verbal abuse to physical violence. This is why name calling should not be ignored. If it happens in school, parents should immediately bring it to the attention of a teacher or principal.
Internal Criticism Develops
Targets of name calling can often internalize the labels that are thrown at them, If the target is called a loser, and they end up in a losing situation, they will mentally confirm that they are, in fact, a loser.
Sudden Mood Changes
A major warning sign of bullying is a sudden change in mood. If a child becomes sullen, angry, or distant, or have problems sleeping, parents need to investigate to determine if bullying is taking place.
Mental Health Problems
Prolonged verbal bullying can cause serious mental health problems for the target. They can become so mentally depressed that they feel completely worthless. In extreme cases, the victims of bullying language can be driven to the point of wanting to commit suicide.
Physical Health Problems
The affects of verbal bullying can translate into several forms of physical troubles for the targeted child. The problem may manifest itself in eating disorders, and problems with sleeping properly. Stomach troubles and headaches may occur.
Another affect that may come into being is traumatic stress disorder. This ailment can cause a decrease in emotional responsiveness; the victim finds it impossible to experience life in an enjoyable manner. They have problems functioning in a commonly normal manner.
Along with it being a problem to detect verbal bullies, it can also be difficult to deal with them in a positive, proper manner. Here are some tactics that can be tried.
Ignore The Bully
It will take some self control, but if you can ignore the bully’s attempt to engage you, and don’t react to his or hers insults, they might bounce away to someone they can get a reaction from.
Tell An Authority Figure
In a school setting, it is a good idea to report the bullying party to an authority figure. If the school has a proper program in place, it will prompt an alert to watch the bully, and maybe catch him in the act. Still, it may be a difficult task to catch the bully and punish him. Be that as it may, it’s still a good idea to make the report.
Your child may have to work at it, but a successful tactic is not to resort to the bully’s rudeness. They bully may lose interest in attacking you. This is probably much better than returning fire at the bully, and perhaps instigating a physical confrontation.
Focus on Friends
Using a child’s friends as a power base is another form of protection against bullying. If your child is always in the company of loyal friends, the opportunity for a bully to come after them is greatly reduced.
Dealing with youth bullying can be a difficult problem. Still, parents can set the proper example by speaking kindly of others, and not being verbally abusive.,
It’s sad to say, but many bullies adopt their behavior from how their parents deal with them and others around them.
There are steps that can be taken in an attempt to curb verbal bullying. In terms of the child doing the bullying, they may not realize that name calling can reach the state of bullying, and can have a destructive affect on the victim. Even doing it as a reaction to an initial verbal attack has to be portrayed as unacceptable, it is possible that this type of intervention will deter the bully. In case it doesn’t, some type of monitoring by parents and school authorities may be required.,
In some cases, name calling back and forth can be the offspring of a prolonged dispute between two or more children. Hopefully, the school administration can be made aware of the situation. If the school has the policy and expertise, a coming together of the minds between parents, the children, and school principal, teachers, and mental health experts, assuming they have them, can take place and foster a positive mediation of the problem before it evolves into physical confrontation,
Verbal bullying can be on par with physical bullying, and should be seen as a serious problem, especially when impressionable children and teens are involved.