Bullying is an aggressive form of behavior.
A bully is a person who has a strong urge to control or dominate over a group or an individual.
The intention is to cause harm to the victim and feel powerful or superior.
There are three main types of bullying
The bully physically attacks the victim with actions such as
- tripping over
- damaging possessions
- banging head or body against a locker or wall
The victim is attacked by the bully with words. For example,
- calling names
- eve teasing
- unpleasant comments
- sexual comments
- writing insulting remarks for all to read
- mocking or laughing at
A bully makes indirect attacks on the victim to damage his social image or reputation in the school or neighbourhood. These include
- Spreading rumors
- Excluding from the group
- Isolating the victim
- Trapping the victim in embarrassing situations
- Creating rifts between best friends
Why children bully in schools
Children have their early experience of interaction at school. Little children are still getting used to the process of interacting with their school mates. Strong emotions of envy, competition, power and strength or superiority are not present in their thoughts. They are ready to adjust and adapt to the class environment. As children grow and reach early teens, they begin to resist other children’s behaviour. Bullying may originate in early childhood and become the dominant behaviour as a child enters his teens.
Bullying incidents are more common in schools. A bully picks on other children who can be attacked easily. Children who are smaller in size or weak, who appear frightened, who are different in skin color, who come from a different culture, who walk or carry themselves in a peculiar manner are mostly victimized by bullies. Such incidents have a direct impact on the victim’s academic performance and attitude towards school.
There are many reasons for bullying apart from the ones mentioned above. Bullies may also enjoy dominating over other children to hide their drawbacks. Many people are of the opinion that a bullies may themselves have been victims.
Many experts also opine that bullies behave the way they do because of their family environment. If talking loud and using unpleasant language is common in the family, a bully thinks there is nothing wrong with such behaviour.
In school, a bully usually selects areas that do not have monitoring authorities present all the time. For example, the school playground, school bus on trips to and from school, hallways, bathrooms are places where they find victims.
Harmful effects of bullying
A bully derives a lot of pleasure from controlling other children. However, this behaviour is disturbing for the school environment. A child who is frequently bullied may have a nervous break down. Sometimes it leaves a permanent scar on the child’s mind and cannot be forgotten even after years of the event.
The effects could be:
- not wanting to attend school
- not wanting to play in the neighbourhood
- development of negative attitude
- inferiority complex
- unnecessary fear
- suicide or attempts of suicide
How schools can stop bullies
- A bully continues to trouble other children if no action is taken against the behaviour. Though it is difficult to eliminate such occurrences completely, schools can do a lot to curtail them.
- Define the concept of bullying clearly so that every minor action is not labeled and children are not admonished unduly.
- Make children aware of the dangers of bullying by conducting workshops and by making such discussions a part of the curriculum.
- Set up anti bullying policies with strict action against bullies.
- Encourage and appreciate good behaviour.
- Motivate children to be sensitive to things happening around them and report to authorities if anything unpleasant takes place.
- Make it easy for parents to approach authorities freely in the wake of such events.
What parents can do if their child is a bully
Bullying can be harmful not only for the victim but also for the bully himself. If your child is a bully, help him come out of that behaviour. Your child is probably reacting to something he is not comfortable with. It’s important to understand you child’s problems or psychology before jumping to conclusions.
Be observant about the following things:
- Your child’s experiences with friends and teachers
- Consistency in academic performance
- Friend circle
- Behaviour of other members of the family
- Your child’s attitude towards his friends
- How your child handles problems: Does he get aggressive or does he try to dominate the group?
Children must be encouraged to be friendly and helpful at school. Make sure your child understands that bullying should not be tolerated and also that bullying someone else is not good behaviour so that childhood experiences remain cherished.
All the best,
London Life Coach & Business Coach, London UK
Certified High Performance Coach & Master NLP Practitioner
020 3411 4888
Natalie Dee, London Life Coach works in the area of lifestyle management as a London life coach, using life coaching with confidence coaching and NLP both in London and throughout the UK, applying techniques such as NLP,EFT and Hypnotherapy to improve levels of self-confidence as well as relationships, personal health, finance and career. Life coaching London, UK and worldwide available.