Bullying has been a problem in school for almost as long as there have been schools. However, it is not the innocent teasing or lunch-stealing of bullies from old movies or TV shows. Bullying can be so severe it permanently damages a child who is the victim of it. Sometimes the damage is physical, but not always. It can be psychological and emotional, too, and it can last a lifetime. Learn about Bullying Victims Stories and the Characteristics of Bullying Victims in Schools.
Bullying usually happens when one or more children feel powerless in one of more areas of their lives and need to exert power over those who they see as weaker in order to gain a sense of control. However, sometimes they are just sociopaths and are born that way. Their bullying can be physical abuse. It can also be emotional torment they inflict on another child. Bullies usually choose one or more children on which to focus their efforts and may work alone or in groups. Sometimes a crowd mentality develops with bullying and kids who wouldn’t normally participate in it get caught up in the bloodlust of the crowd. In any case, bullying is unacceptable and must be stopped whenever it is discovered. Helping the victims of bullying is essential and not an option.
The sad thing is that most children who are the victims of bullying don’t say anything about it to an adult for fear of looking like a weakling in front of the school or for fear of getting bullied even worse for telling. They may also be embarrassed that they are letting this happen to them. Therefore, you have to be aware of the common characteristics of bullying victims in schools. You can take steps to protect your child once you know the common characteristics nearly all bullying victims share.
Here are the most common characteristics of bullying victims in schools:
- Unexplained physical injuries. These are usually minor, like cuts and scrapes. There may sometimes be bruises. These are signs your child is being physically bullied at school.
- Frequent or even daily unexplained loss of school supplies, food, money, or even clothing.
- Your child is adamant about not wanting to go to school and refuses to participate in activities with peers outside of school.
- Your child expresses fear of the school bus and doesn’t want to ride it.
- Your child wants you there at school every day when school is dismissed.
- Withdrawn, sulky behavior and a verbal expression of feeling lonely.
- A noticeable change in behavior or personality.
- A change in overall mood for the worse. This change is ongoing.;
- Physical complaints like headaches and stomachaches, either at home or at school, for the purpose of getting out of class.
- Insomnia, nightmares, and bed wetting.
- Loss of appetite for no apparent reason.
- A significant drop in grades when this is not the norm for your child. The drop is unexplained.
- Your child has fewer friends than in the past.
- New and significant problems with self-esteem.
These are the most typical characteristics of bullying victims in schools. However. there can be more subtle ones. These signs are usually not obvious unless you pay attention to Bullying Victims Stories. Less common signs like these can also mean your child is at risk for bullying even if no bullying has yet started.
1. Children who have naturally insecure personalities are more often the targets for bullies than children who are more secure about themselves.
2. Children who are physically weak are often the targets of bullies. In fact, children with physical disabilities are quite often victims of bullying because they make easy targets.
3. Children who have something about them that makes them different from their peers are frequent victims of bullying. This is the type of bullying that can turn into a crowd mentality. School hierarchies among children are all about conformity. Any child who appears or acts different in any way is a likely target and many of the other children who might not otherwise by bullies may join in on the ostracizing and bad-natured teasing.
4. Introverted children sometimes make for easy bullying victims, as children tend to look with suspicion on those children who prefer to spend a lot of time alone.
5. Children with overprotective parents are frequently targets of bullying. These parents mean well, of course, but their efforts to protect their children do more harm than good when other children notice their over-protective nature. It singles the child out as a good target for bullying.
Once you know the signs of a child who is being bullied and the characteristics of a child who is likely to be bullied, you can take steps to improve the situation for victims of bullying. Children who are already being bullied need immediate intervention with the school. Most schools now have zero-tolerance bullying policies and will work with parents and children alike to remedy the problem. The bully and parents of bullies will also be involved in this process. In some cases, interventions that involve the entire school may be implemented.
Children who are at risk of becoming bullying victims can be helped before the bullying starts. While a parent certainly wouldn’t want to change a child’s natural personality if the child is happy, certain steps can be taken to make that child less likely of a target without changing the child into someone else. The important thing is to listen to your child, pay attention to your child’s concerns and needs, and respond appropriately. Bring in the school authorities and the parents of the bully if that is necessary. The important thing is to protect your child without making him or her feel singled out or different in any way. This way, your child can have a happy school experience and a cheerful childhood.
It is essential to help victims of bullying survive bullying trauma today. Remember that by creating awareness about bullying, victims of bullying are thanking you everywhere!