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. The definition of bullying is an undesirable, aggressive conduct among children that includes a real or perceived power imbalance and the behaviour is being 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’ part denotes that the harassment is done through the use of the internet or other wireless means.
By definition, bullying is not a mistake. Instead, it is an actual intent of violence that the bully makes repeatedly. According to some reports, bullying occurs in one out of five students. The bully is often a child who is having problems at home, or at school, and might be popular among his or her peers.
There are ways to stop a bully from hurting other children. However, this will take the cooperation of everyone, including teachers, adults, and other children. Many children at school do not interfere when they see a bully torturing or beating up on another student. Most children are afraid, that if they say anything, or try to stop the bullying, they might become the next target. Sometimes this way of thinking is correct, because a bully does not like anyone to challenge him or her, or stand up to him or her. This shows that they are weak or that their control or authority is at risk.
Bullying is a serious problem in schools, homes and workplaces. It is the physical, verbal, and emotional abuse that people inflict on others whom they consider to be weak or inferior. Millions of children and adults are victims of bullying. There are laws to protect bullying victims, if the victims will come forward and press charges. However, many people do not come forward, attempting to appear brave. Bullies inflict various types of abuse on their victims. The abuse can so intense, and so cruel and vicious, to the extent that some victims simply put an end to their misery, or to their bully’s life.
These are drastic steps for victims to take. However, these are the steps that victims choose to follow, when they feel there is no hope, and no way out of their torture. Bullying has been around for years, but unfortunately, many people chose to ignore the signs, or just not take the time to get involved. Bullying takes place in schools, in workplaces and in homes. As hopeless and drastic as the situation of bullying may be, there are laws in place around the world that will protect victims from being a target.
There are dozens of websites that offer various solutions, tips, and resources to people who want to know more about bullying. Bullying is an old method of abuse, that bullies use to control, manipulate, and torture individuals they consider weaker than them. When children cannot get along with each other or when one child picks a fight with another child, parents and adults fail to think that bullying might be behind the conflict. However, when the truth comes out about bullying and the tactics of bullying adults may feel bad, because they did not listen.
Sometimes children do over exaggerate, and make a big deal out of a small incident. Over exaggerating is not a crime, but choosing to ignore a child on that basis, could be criminal, which is why having a clear bullying definition is critical.
How do I Reach a bullying definition?
The Definition of Bullying: 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.
The Definition of Bullying: 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. A verbal bullying definition includes:
- 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. A physical bullying definition 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
There are several ways bullies use to physically bully another person. You can define bullying actions as follows:
- Practical jokes
- Sexual harassment.
- Destroying property
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 cellphones 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.
Bullying Definition: Sexual Harassment or Assault
It is not surprising that, according to physical bullying statistics, students who bully are more likely to be physically aggressive with their partners as adults. They are also more likely to sexually harass their co-workers or peers. Sexual harassment and assault can fall under the physical bullying definition if it is a repeated offense. In sexual harassment and sexual assault cases, this is often, but not always, a male assaulting or harassing a female to try to establish dominance over her. Often, the bully will accuse the victim of sending mixed signals in sexual harassment or assault situations. They will try to place blame on the victim if they can. Students who are victims of such abuse should be assured that the attacks were not their fault. It is extremely important that all students know that no unwanted sexual comments or actions are acceptable, ever. This is true whether the victim is the same or opposite gender. Parents, teachers, and administrators should always make that perfectly clear to students.
Bullying Definition: 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.
Bullying Definition: 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 basis. 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.
Bullying Definition: Common Bullying Tactics
- Name calling
- Subtle physical bullying that can include shoving, pushing, or nudging
- Deceiving a victim to earn confidence that may encourage the victim to confide in and trust the bully
- Attacks on a person’s reputation
- Physical abuse
- Attacks – verbal, psychological, or physical – on objects, pets, or people who are important to the victim
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, but first, help them define bully for real. Fact: Your child may encounter a bully at school, church, among family members, in their workplace, at home, or within your community neighbourhood.