Bullying is a word that’s wrapped in emotion. For many people bullying is associated with bad childhood memories. It’s been estimated that around 40% of people has experienced some type of bullying in the past.
The ghosts from the past are never far away for parents and can sometimes influence the way we react to current circumstances, including when our own children experience difficulties in their relationships inside or outside school.
Bullying is an insidious behaviour that transgresses children’s natural right to feel safe and secure. It can adversely affect their learning, emotional well-being, further peer relations and their sense of self.
Types of Bullying
Bullying takes many forms and guises including physical and emotional abuse, intimidation, harassment and exclusion.
It now has a well-publicised cyber-dimension which has moved the goalposts for many kids. In the past children could escape bullying behaviours they may have experienced by being at home. Cyber-bullying now means that kids can’t escape the bully like they once could.
Bullying is not the domain of one gender. Girls bully just as much as boys but they do it in less physical ways. While boys use physical intimidation or verbal abuse to wield power, girls are more likely to use exclusion or verbal sarcasm to assert themselves.
Bullying should not be confused with teasing, rejection, random acts of violence or physicality and conflict. While children will often tease or fight, this bickering should not be confused with bullying.
Bullying is about lack of power as one person is powerless to stop the teasing or physical abuse. Bullying is the selective, uninvited, repetitive oppression of one person by another person or group. It should not be tolerated or practised by the adults who inhabit their world.
Is your child being bullied?
If you think your child is being bullied then handle with care as children often don’t want to admit that they are on the receiving end of bullying.
Some kids keep it to their chest so it helps to be on lookout for warning signs such as: items being stolen, changing the route to school and withdrawal from usual activities.