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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Dealing with Child Bullying - Understanding Bullying Facts

By Andrew Loh

.... "Each day and every week, Tom who was studying in his fifth grade, used to ask his parents for more allowance for snacks and lunch. His parents were getting worried why Tom was asking more money. Eventually, they found out that one of Tom's seniors from seventh grade was forcibly taking money from Tom. In fact, he was threatening to beat Tom if he refused to pay him."

.... "Susan was a meek girl and is a seventh grade student. In spite of her intelligence and smartness, she was getting duller in her studies day by day. Her classroom performance started dipping while she was reluctant to go to school. In fact, she refused to go to school after sometime. Her parents were worried about this development and they decided to find out what was happening. Eventually, they found that one of Susan's senior students was constantly bullying her and it affected Susan's psyche in a negative way."

The above-mentioned incidents are too common in schools. These two incidents are classic examples of child bullying in schools. Child bullying is a negative act pursued by some students in the school. In essence, bullying is a negative, undesirable and aggressive behavior that can be in the form of physical, verbal or relational patterns. Bullying is a psychological phenomenon. The person who indulges in the act is called the bully while the person who falls in the trap of a bully is known as "target" or" bullied". In fact, the bullied person may fall in the trap without knowing that he or she is being bullied.

Child bullying is common among both boys and girls. Boys may use physical threats and actions to scare the victim while girls may use verbal or relationship bullying tactics to frighten the bullied. The negative effects of bullying could be enormous and too intimidating. The psychological effects of bullying could be long lasting and permanent. The results of bullying could be as follows:

  • The victim or the bullied may feel hurt, afraid, scared, frightened, frustrated, hopeless, disappointed, isolated, sedentary, ashamed, angry and even guilty that the act of bullying is somehow his or her fault. The intimidated person could even feel suicidal.

  • The net negative results are very bad for a bullied person. The negative health consequences could be depression, suicidal tendencies, low self-esteem, anxiety and panic syndrome.

  • Disappointing classroom performance, failing grades and negative remarks are some of the serious consequences of bullying.

Note: The most damning issue with bullying is its repeating nature. Bullies are always violent and aggressive. They could be relentless and repetitive.

There are three main forms of child bullying:

Physical bullying: Beating, kicking, haggling, pushing, slapping and other forms of physical violence are the most common forms of physical bullying. Stealing, hiding, and destroying someone's articles are the other forms of physical bullying.

Verbal bullying: Teasing, issuing threats, taunting, abusing, name-calling and insulting are the other forms of bullying.

Relationship bullying: Bullying could be relational too. Refusing to talk to a person, excluding a student from common activities and telling lies about someone are other forms of bullying.

Some children bully others for many reasons. Bullying is a pleasurable activity for such students. Some children resort to bullying for the following reasons:

  • To feel powerful and look tough in the school.

  • A false feeling of becoming popular in the school.

  • They try to cover up for their deficiencies.

  • They may not like others or they may feel jealous of someone who is more intelligent than they are.

  • They may try to forget their own problems and eventually try to escape them.

  • They might have been the bully victims themselves in the past.

More than 30% of children face one or the other forms of bullying in their schools. Bullies always think and act in their own viewpoints. In fact, they try to bully someone who they feel are different from them or who they "do not fit" in with their line of thinking. In many cases, cultural differences, color, religion, creed, languages sexual orientation could be the precursors of instances of bullying.

It is often very difficult to find out whether your children are facing bullying from their peers. At times, visible injuries and bruises could be the telltale signs of bullying. Parents could see some warning signs among their children that could pinpoint the possibilities of bullying. Children may look scared and frightened after they come from school. They may look very anxious and refuse to eat well. They may also look very moody and panic. In fact, some of them may refuse to go to school. Children may never tell their parents about bullying! In fact, some children may even enjoy someone bullying them!

The most disturbing part of bullying is your children becoming bully themselves after sometime. Hence, parents should be nipping the instances of bullying in its bud itself. They may want to contact the principal of the school and try to find out who is bully and why they are bullying their children. Prevention is better than cure - preventing bullying is the best antidote available. Continue to read How to Prevent and Stop Bullying at Schools? here!


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