These days, bullying has become a huge concern in the United States. Over half of children under the age of 17 report that they have been bullied on more than one occasion throughout their lives. In recent years, schools across the nation have begun making efforts to stop bullying and make their classrooms places that are more conducive to learning and building relationships. However, the fact remains that bullying still remains a rampant problem among the nation’s youth. Parents of bullies and parents of children who have been bullied alike often find themselves seeking answers to their questions regarding bullying. Learn more about the Dire Consequences of Bullying!
It is important for all parents and children to understand the effects of bullying, not just on the child being bullied, but on others as well. After all, many different people can be affected by bullying. These people include:
- The bullied child
- Friends and family of the child
- Bystanders who witness the bullying
- The bully himself or herself
According to StopBullying.gov, the child who is bullied by others is the one who suffers the most. He or she may begin to feel higher levels of anxiety as a result of the anticipated bullying. This is especially common in children who are bullied every day at school, on the playground, or even online. These children are also more likely to be diagnosed with depression, which is a serious condition that can lead to extreme sadness, loneliness, and even thoughts of suicide. Those who are depressed may withdraw from activities they once enjoyed, be lethargic, and suffer physically as a result as well.
Most commonly, children who are bullied tend to do poorly in school. Because of the depression and subsequent lack of motivation, these children no longer strive to reach their full potential in the classroom. They may fail to turn in homework assignments, do poorly on tests, and even fail out of classes. This can have drastically negative long-term effects on the child’s future.
Parents of bullies can also be indirectly impacted by this activity as well. When one’s child comes home from school upset as a result of bullying, this can cause emotional stress on the parents as well.
Of course, the bullied child is not the only one who suffers from the consequences of bullying. This activity can also impact bystanders who witness the bullying, especially when these bystanders are classmates or even friends of the child being picked on. Often times, these bystanders find themselves feeling guilty and conflicted over the situation; they know that bullying is wrong, but they do not feel as though they have the strength or confidence to step in and put an end to it. Instead, they stand by and feel upset over the situation. However, since bystanders typically never say anything about what they witness, they bottle up these emotions, which can lead to psychological problems and anxiety down the road.
Aside from the child being bullied, the parents of the child, and bystanders, the child doing the bullying can also suffer from undesirable consequences as a result of his or her actions. In fact, studies have shown that children who engage in bullying of their peers are more likely to end up with more serious problems down the road. This includes taking part in illegal activities such as vandalism, drug use, and underage drinking. Bullies are also more likely to end up with a criminal record down the road, which can make it difficult to find a job or even get into college. Furthermore, children who bully others tend to have poor school performance, which can lead to a difficult future. Finally, these people tend to have difficulties maintaining healthy relationships down the road; they may become domestically violent or even become a victim of domestic violence.
What to Do
Bullying may never cease to exist, but the truth remains that it needs to be controlled. Children across the country are experiencing bullying in some respect every day, and they need to know how to react to it. Children who are bullied should always speak up by telling an adult, such as a parent or teacher. Schools are generally quick to handle accusations of bullying these days so as to prevent further problems down the road. Furthermore, children who witness bullying should be taught to say something as well rather than just standing there and watching the bullying take place.
There is no denying the fact that bullying is a serious problem across the country. However, if everybody works together to take the right steps, it is possible to cut down on bullying and save the lives of children and teens. By keeping the above information in mind, parents and children alike can work to put an end to bullying and make the world a better place.