In recent times I have realised that bullying is an ever increasing problems in our nation’s schools and homes. The problem of bullying stems from many deep rooted issues.
Bullying is different from aggression. An aggressive child will be aggressive anywhere, with anyone and this behaviour is usual equal. Bullying on the other hand is an abuse of power, where one child overpowers another and deliberately hurts them (verbally, emotionally or physically). Usually the child being bullied has not done anything to deserve such treatment but has been targeted by the bully to show off his/her power on a continuous basis.
Generally, boys are more outright with bullying behaviour, therefore it appears more common amongst them. Girls on the other hand bully in less direct ways, for example they might deliberately leave out another girl from play, or activities. Bullying can be more effectively prevented and managed when work is started with younger children, rather than teenagers. The work that is usually done is through education, positive talk sessions, and strong policies in schools against bullying.
Teachers play a vital role in the prevention and management of bullying, since this behaviour occurs mostly in the school setting. Adults need to help the children become assertive, avoid certain situations, and actively help children who are being bullied. This can also be done through education.
Children who are bullied suffer from many different psychological issues. Bullying can cause loss of self esteem, depression, increased isolation, family problems, poor school performance and some children might even start thinking about suicide or revenge.
Children who bully are often unhappy and dissatisfied with aspect of their lives. More times that not bullies have been bullied themselves at one point. They have felt deprived and may have suffered the same imbalance of power, usually from a loved one. Therefore bullies themselves often have low self esteem. In order to feel good about themselves they bring others down. If this behaviour is not checked, the child can go on to delinquent behaviour in adulthood because they would not have learnt how to be responsible and work well with others.
As parents, teachers and adults one of the main ways we can help with the bullying behaviour is by modelling the correct behaviour for our young people. We also need to treat then with respect and love, giving them autonomy. We should not dominate them, demand and tell them what to do at all times, but to talk to our children and treat them with respect and love. We have to do more, educate more, role model more, be more vigilant to prevent the rising incidences of bullying…