Within the past few decades, bullying has escalated in the United States and abroad, traumatizing school aged youth. With the use of the Internet and other technology, bullying activities have brought greater exposure to its victims and has caused greater embarrassment and shame. This has often resulted in various emotional disorders, suicide attempts and ultimately death. Parents dealing with children who are bullying victims should take appropriate steps to address the issue. So what is Peer Pressure Bullying?
Not only are the youth victims of bullying, but adults are victims of bullying too. Nationwide programs should be put into place to provide solutions for victims and the bullies themselves, who often act out due to peer pressure.
How To Deal With Your Child When They Are Victims Of Bullying
One of every parent’s greatest fears is to learn that their child is being bullied, which should be taken seriously as it can cause lasting devastating effects in a variety of ways. Although bullying has been around for years, today it’s much more severe due primarily to the detrimental effects of the hurtful words and images that can circulate in cyberspace for years.
Most parents’ initial reaction to finding out that their child is being bullied is to retaliate and take matters into their own hands. However, several responsible steps should take place to address the issue instead. In fact according to the Mayo Clinic, appropriate authorities should be contacted, such as teachers, guidance counselors or principals, with factual, matter-of-fact information, such as dates, times, people involved and the types of bullying activity that occurred. Additional follow up information should also be obtained, such as who was contacted, the actions taken, who was involved and the results. Additionally, parents should ask their children’s school about their bullying policies and procedures, and how teachers and other staff are required to address any suspected or acknowledged bullying activities.
According to Mayo Clinic, parents should not recommend retaliation, but should suggest that their child ask a teacher or coach for help and stay with a group or with friends when bullying activities are likely to take place. Bullies often fall into peer pressure bullying, and bully their victims when in groups or with friends.
Youth Bullying Facts
Each year over 3.2 million school aged students are victims of bullying, resulting in approximately 160,000 students staying home from school. Studies also show that suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers and approximately half of youth related suicides are linked to incidents of bullying. According to www.bullyingstatistics.org, bullying is responsible for approximately 4,400 deaths annually, and for each successful suicide among youth, there are about 100 suicide attempts. Additionally, 14 percent of bullying victims have considered suicide and almost 7 percent have actually made suicide attempts.
Bullying victims who have not made suicide attempts have suffered in other ways, such as in anger, depression, anxiety, frustration, fear, embarrassment, shame, isolation, decreases in academic performance and dropping out of school.
Bullying comes in a variety of forms, including the following:
- Physical bullying
- Cyber bullying
- ·Text bullying
- ·Workplace bullying
- ·Verbal bullying (teasing, name calling or speaking harshly)
- ·Harassment related bullying
- ·Bullying associated with discrimination linked to the following:
o being gay
o overweight or obese.
Although difficult to detect, victims of cyberbullying experience greater levels of depression than face-to-face bullying according to Wang, Nansel, & Iannotti, (2010).
Bullying also takes place in a variety of different settings, such as group homes, orphanages, and schools, which is the most common setting and where bullying both adolescences and teachers take place. Various forms of peer pressure bullying also occurs in school settings.
In October 2010, the Office for Civil Rights indicated that “School districts may be violating civil rights statutes by allowing bullying activities to take place in their schools, including bullying associated with discrimination due to age, race, weight, gay, gender and lesbianism or physical disabilities. Additionally, school districts are responsible for making schools a safe place, which should be conducive to learning, not an environment that creates tension, hostility, harassment shame and embarrassment.
Since most peer pressure bullying activities take place in areas that have no adult supervision, there needs to be a greater awareness of all forms of bullying, specifically cyber bullying, where adults are normally unaware and uninvolved at the time bullying activities occur.
There also needs to be programs that bring exposure to the bullies themselves, that holds them accountable for their actions and addresses their anger management and other issues that lead to bulling. Additionally, bullying victims need to feel that they have someone that they consider reliable and trustworthy to turn to. This allows them to express their issues in a nurturing, supportive and safe environment. Victims also need to feel confident that their concerns that they’ve shared will remain confidential.
Just as with adolescent bullying, adult bullying also takes place in a variety of settings. This is when one adult attempts to instill fear, intimidation and power over the other, which often occurs at public or private social settings, in apartment complexes, at the work place or at other social settings. Sadly enough, bullying also takes place among senior citizens at senior living facilities. This occurs when employees at these facilities are both verbally and physically abusive to the unsuspecting elderly. Abusiveness in senior living facilities is of great concern, because it is the senior’s primary place of residence, leaving them with limited alternatives for refuge and safety.
The implementation of anti-bullying programs and activities should be put in place that will address the bullying issues that are aggressively growing throughout the United States and abroad. Bullying programs should provide support and treatment to bullying victims as well as to the bullies themselves. The programs should hold bullies accountable for their actions, allowing them to deal with their anger management, peer pressure and other issues that lead to bullying. It should also provide an awareness of the pressure bulling causes millions of victims annually.