Bullying can be defined as an unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. It isn’t restricted to only children. Bullying is a wide concept which ranges from picking at kids in school, to parents beating their children in order to ‘discipline’ them.
In simple words, bullying can is when a student, or a group of students intentionally hurt others. The nature of such abuse can be physical, mental or emotional. Making fun of a student who sits quietly in the class, forcing an academic student to do their homework or harassing a student for his weak physique are just a few examples.
There’s a very thin line between tolerable taunting and teasing among students. The distinguishing factors which can be used to identify bullying is the duration and severity of the teasing or any such behavior. There’s a phrase that is very commonly used, ‘kids are cruel’. This phrase only means that they are sometimes very brutally honest. It is usually confused with physical ramifications.
Children usually don’t have the required social skills. It takes them time to acquire these skills from influence through positive role-modelling, rather than inheritance.
Bullying should not be taken lightly. It should not be considered as normal part of childhood. Telling kids who are being bullied to toughen up is a very casual way of dealing with this problem.
Causes of Bullying:
Bullying is a trait that develops in a childhood. There’s a wide list of reasons and incidents which can cause such behavior. They are:
1. Peer relations: – Some students only indulge in such activities because they are scared that if they do not join in with the other bullies, they might be the next target. This forms some sort of a chain.
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2. Home environment: – Is possible that the at the students home, his parents or siblings might act aggressively towards each other or towards outsiders. These influence the child and remodel their thinking about what sort of behavior is right and wrong. Moreover, if a child does not feel loved and wanted at home, he is very likely take out his frustrations on others outside on other children who might seem weaker than him.
3. Personal insecurity: – Children who suffer from identity disorder often resort to bullying to seek attention from the peers. These kids are misguided into believing that creating a scene and picking on others will make them look cool, and hence, seek other kid’s affection.
4. Negative company: – The most common cause for increasing bullying cases is bad company. A normal kid, with bullies as friends will eventually succumb to peer pressure.
5. Emotional disorder: – Some children are unable to control their emotions. They get irritated very easily which leads to aggressive outbursts at random occasions. When these children get their way after such outbursts, they start to enjoy those acts. They get habitual and use bullying as an outlet for their emotions. This is usually a result of stunted emotional growth.
6. Personality Disorder: – Children who are popular, or very conscious about their popularity, often fall into this ditch. Their need to feel power over others drive them into doing things which are unethical. They have a very strong need to gain attention and approval from their peers which they achieve by bullying.
Prevention of Bullying:
1. Pay attention: The first step to prevent bullying is to identify it. Unexplained injuries, lost items, change in eating habits and avoidance of school are some of the signs.
2. Taking action: As soon as a teacher even suspects that a child is being bullied, he must intervene and stop the act immediately instead of brushing it off as a normal kids’ activity. Students who get away with bullying get a boost in their confidence and are more likely to repeat such acts.
3. Professional Guidance: When a bullying situation arises, there are at least three parties. The bully, the bullied, and the bystanders. We should not give advice beyond our scope and expertise as bullying is a very serious problem for both the bully and the bullied. We should refer both of them to the school counselor and if problem persists, with the help of the parents, professional help should be arranged with a psychiatrist.
4. Responsibility of bystanders: When a kid is being bullied, he looks for help. In cases, he even asks for it but the by standing kids stay either mute, or jest at him. This can leave permanent psychological damage to the bullied child and he himself might become a bully. Therefore, in such cases, the bystanders should also be held responsible. They should be advised on moral values to develop a helping nature.
5. Anti-bullying activities: Every so often, such activities should be organized in classes which explain the harmful effects of bullying. The students should be taught to identify bullying and encouraged to stand against such acts. Strict rules should be adhered to for the culprits.
Bullying is a very serious problem that ails almost every school. Whatever be the reason or cause, such atrocious behavior should be totally unacceptable by the school authorities. They should never take it lightly and the culprits should be dealt with very seriously by adhering to a strong anti-bullying policy of the school.