Bullying is a huge problem. It happens in schools among students during and outside of school. It happens in the workplace among coworkers and between employees and their bosses. Teachers and administrators are sometimes the perpetrators.
Children who are mistreated often end up with low self-esteem and often depression. The person with the bad behavior can progress to more destructive and antisocial behavior later on.
Kids who have been mistreated themselves may pick on others to feel powerful, popular, important, or in control. They pick on the same children over and over again.
The solution to this dangerous social problem is prevention through successful educational programs and effective school and workplace policies. Both the perpetrators and the victims need help — the victim needs therapy and the perpetrator needs treatment. Go to Stop Bullies for help.
The abuse is offensive, cruel, intimidating, or humiliating behavior between children and youth. It is not normal aggression between children. Harassment is the adult term for this behavior. Mistreating others is a relationship issue; harassment is a human rights issue.
Learn about the causes of this behavior so we can all work on prevention and solutions for this cruel abuse. Go to Bullying Facts for information. This behavior lowers the self esteem of the victim. It is cruel and hurtful behavior designed to degrade and humiliate the victim who ends up feeling lonely, frightened and unsafe.
physical — kicking, hitting, biting, hair pulling, pinching or touching someone in a way they don’t want to be touched.
They may see the behavior as a way to popularity and being tough. Some kids mistreat others to get attention they feel lacking. They might like others to be afraid of them. Aggressive kids sometimes are unaware that what they are doing is wrong and also unaware of the effects of their actions on others.
They might be different in some way because of their size, their name and their mannerisms. Sometimes they are attacked because they seem vulnerable, as though they won’t stand up for themselves.
1. Know that it isn’t the fault of your child or of you. Listen to your child and talk about ways of dealing with it. Reassure your child that you will let him or her know before you take action.
2. For help with child self esteem go to Child Self Esteem and Building Child Self Esteem
3. Talk about the problem with other parents or support groups. Discuss the issue with the school vice principal or principal. Find out what school programs are place to deal with this aggressive behavior and if they are effectively. Ask exactly what the school administration will do to help your child.
4. Keep working with the school until the behavior stops. Work with your child to develop a plan to deal with any future incidents. Help your child to be ready for some action the next time the bullying happens including to whom they will go for help. You could, for example, write help phone numbers on a card for your child to carry with him. Have a look at Stop Bullies for more information.
5. Don’t let the matter drop assuming that something has been done. Keep asking your child if the bullying has lessened. Listen carefully to understand not only what your child is saying but also what he or she might not be saying. In other words, be in tune with your child’s feelings.
Aggression can be a traumatic experience for your child. It can cause physical and emotional harm, and hurt your child for a long time in the future. There can be long lasting affects to your child’s emotional life. If you suspect mistreatment, get help immediately by asking others who best to approach with the problem. Help is out there.
When not dealt with, this aggressive behavior turns into harassment when the child is a teenager. When the teen starts dating, relationship violence often begins — when in the workplace harassment begins, when married, spousal abuse, then child abuse and parents age, elder abuse.
If schools, churches, workplaces and wider communities choose not to intervene, if we believe the myth that this type of abuse is a fact of life and growing up, we will all pay the price as bullies get older and their crimes escalate.