Bullying In Schools 101
As schools open, many children might feel anxious about returning to school. Bullying is a severe problem that most face at some point in their school life. It’s crucial for parents and teachers to create awareness, reduce the risk of problematic behaviours and have preventative methods to address the consequences of bullying. Read on to find out more about bullying in schools.
Causes of Bullying
Various factors can influence children who bully others. For instance, they may struggle with inner conflict or come from backgrounds where violence is the norm. In most cases, challenges with emotional neglect and feeling isolated can be a driving motivator to bully others.
Research suggests that bullies are most likely to have underlying mental health difficulties. Failure to address or understand such complex feelings can impact their actions towards others. Here are common reasons why your child may be a bully:
- They need to dominate their peers and enforce their way of thinking.
- The inability to see their behaviour as an issue.
- Being a victim of bullying.
- Conflicted emotions and displaying signs of anger, frustration, and jealousy.
- Having low self-esteem issues that lead to struggling socially.
Types of Bullying
Most people think that bullying only needs to be physical for it to have harmful, severe consequences. However, different types can be present. It’s important to be aware of these various ways that bullying can happen:
This is the most common type of bullying that children face. It can include various ways to cause physical harm to the victim. For instance, your child can be subjected to beatings, stolen property or being shoved to degrade them in front of others.
Bullies can use hurtful statements, name-calling, and insults to gain control over their victims. This is the most challenging form of bullying to identify because it’s mostly done when there aren’t witnesses around to make it harder to provide evidence. As a result, you may not take it as seriously as it should be taken.
Living in a digital world can expose your children to harmful content. Teenagers are generally plugged into social media, which can make them vulnerable to online threats, hurtful images, and harassment without the means to stop it.
In most cases, young girls are victims of sexual bullying. The perpetrators continuously make humiliating comments, spread insulting lies and send sensitive images to ridicule the victim. This can lead to self-esteem issues and opens the door to forms of sexual assault in severe cases.
Lack of education on racial matters, religious backgrounds and cultural differences can influence discriminatory views among young people. This can lead to targeting people who they see differently through insults and humiliating behaviour. Often, this type of bullying can become physical and lead to severe consequences when adults don’t address it.
Effects of Bullying
If your child is a victim of bullying, they can display various signs of poor emotional, mental, and physical health. These can filter through to self-image and impact their school performance. Bullies and victims of bullying can be affected in these ways:
Victims of Bullying
Victims of bullying are the ones who are mostly affected by what happens to them. They can experience the following:
- Fear of going to school.
- Anxiety and depression.
- Poor physical health and frequent health concerns.
- Low self-esteem.
- Suicidal thoughts and attempts in severe cases.
While the focus is mainly on the victim, bullies are also affected by their behaviour. In most cases, it can be highlighted through:
- Extremely aggressive and risky behaviour.
- A struggle to maintain meaningful social relationships with their peers.
- The inability to follow school rules.
- Lack of boundaries.
- Low self-esteem.
Prevention of Bullying
Parents and teachers need to come together to prevent bullying. A positive impact is needed for young people who are bullies to understand the long-term effects of their behaviour on their victims and themselves. These are some valuable tips to help prevent bullying:
- Teach children to approach feelings they don’t understand with kindness and empathy.
- Foster connections that improve a sense of community with children from different backgrounds.
- Identify problematic changes in behaviour before they increase the likelihood of bullying.
- Use different techniques to improve communication.
- Set clear rules and a definition of what is considered bullying.
While it can be a challenge for parents to identify bullying when it isn’t physical, it’s crucial to monitor your child’s behaviour to identify any warning signs. Your child might be a victim or the one who bullies others, and it’s essential to understand the cause and ways to prevent ongoing aggressive and mentally or physically harmful behaviours. If you don’t know how to address the impact of bullying with your child, you can use the iER App to connect you to Social Services that provide effective counselling and helpful tips.