By: Kaitlyn Smith
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among children and teens that involve a power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Types of Bullying
Why do People Bully?
There are many reason why people might bully. For example; they are jealous, want to look tough or feel powerful, they're being bullied themselves, or to escape their own problems. Bullies also tend to pick on people who are “different” or don’t fit in. It may be because of how you dress, act, or because of your race or religion.
Effects of Bullying
Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:
- Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
- Health complaints
- Decreased academic achievement. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
How to Help
Although victims of bullies may feel alone in their fight, experts agree that there are effective techniques that teachers, parents, and children can use to fight off bullying. In school, close supervision is critical.To reduce bullying, everyone should be encouraged to report aggressive activity. Experts agree that parents should also take steps to prevent bullying, starting in the home. For example, parents should establish rules of behavior at home and reward their child for following those rules. Such actions help build self-esteem. Spending time with a child who also may have a tendency to bully can also create positive experiences for that child, as well as provide them with a positive role model.Similar guidelines exist for children who are bullying victims. Experts encourage children to understand that they have the right to feel safe. To prevent attack, stick close to your friends, since studies have shown that bullies rarely pick on an entire group. If someone bullies you, always tell an adult, even if you think you've solved the problem on your own.
The Roles Kids Play
There are many different roles that kids could play. They can either be the bully, the victim, or a witness. A kid can play more than one role in this situation. It is important to know these roles so you can prevent and respond to bullying.
Warning signs that your child might be a victim of bullying are:
- They withdrawal from friends and activities
- They have physical complaints
- They are worried, angry, or moody
- They have nightmares
- They have declining schoolwork