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Bullying takes on many facets in the school environment. Verbal and physical abuse are perhaps some of the most common forms of bullying, although cyber-bullying has greatly increased among teens and pre-teens in the last few years. In short, bullying can be perceived as any action or influence a person has on children that threatens or intimidates the children into complying with what that person wants.
In a school situation, children can be bullied by their peers, teachers or older students. At home, children may experience bullying by their parents or siblings. Sometimes parents use persuasive tactics that are kin to bullying without even realizing it. However, the effects on a child are the same and can cause him just as much distress as if he were being bullied by someone outside the home.
Verbal bullying can entail name calling, teasing, verbal threats, put downs and other verbal means of demeaning children and making them feel inferior. In a school situation, children may be verbally abused by peers trying to dominate them or cause them harm. Girls are more likely to use this kind of abuse against others, although some boys may try this tactic to avoid the more severe repercussions that physical abuse may bring.
Verbal bullying can make children feel rejected and unloved by their peers. Such abuse can have a negative effect on a child’s self-confidence and image. Verbal abuse can cause emotional and mental trauma, especially to children who are already shy and withdrawn. Bullying can make a shy child feel isolated from others and cut off from family and friends.
It’s not uncommon for children who suffer from verbal bullying to develop problems with depression, anxiety and fear. In the case of teens and pre-teens, long-term bullying may cause them to turn to alcohol or drugs for relief. In extreme cases, teens have been known to commit suicide as a means of escape.
With physical bullying, children can suffer from such action as hitting, pushing, kicking, punching, tripping, spitting and more. Some children may be victims of sexual assault. Physical bullying often poses greater risk to children than verbal abuse due to the physical action involved. Although this abuse is more common in middle schools, there have been instances of physical bullying even with younger children at the elementary level.
Children who resort to physical bullying often have problems with discipline and self control. Many come from a home environment where discipline was not enforced and moral values were never taught. As such, they have never learned to respect or care about others. .
Along with asking the question of “what is bullying for kids”, parents and teachers should also consider why children are bullied in order to better combat the problem. Children may be bullied for many reasons. Sometimes victims are chosen due to their nationality, race, gender or sexual preference. Bullies like to pick on kids who are different, such as social misfits. In almost all cases, victims are either physically or mentally weaker than the bully, which makes the bully feel superior.
Bullies often make victims feel like they are at fault for the treatment they receive. For this reason, victims may be reluctant to tell others about the bullying incidents. Children should be taught that any kind of bullying is wrong and should be reported to teachers or parents right away. Parents and teachers should respond immediately to reports of bullying in order to protect the safety and security of innocent children under their care.
Parents and teachers have a great responsibility to the children in their care. Children need to know they can trust and count on their parents and teachers to respond to their physical, emotional and mental needs. When problems arise, children should have full confidence in these adults to help them resolve situations out of their control.
Bullying is a situation that is generally outside a child’s control. Once a bullying situation has been reported, teachers and parents should take action to get the situation resolved. As a parent, you have every right to ensure the safety of your children at school. If no action is taken to curtail future bullying, you should consider enrolling your kids in a safer school environment. A school that fails to enforce discipline against bullying has little to offer in its educational standard.
What is bullying for kids? It’s a means of destroying a child’s unique character and makeup, leaving him with little hope or vision for the future. By taking an active stance against bullying, parents, schools and communities give children the opportunity to grow into the unique and productive individuals they were meant to be.