Know what bullying means
Bullying is the abuse and mistreatment of a person by a stronger, more powerful and manipulative person.
Bullying is present in our everyday lives. From the little girl who forcefully takes her sister’s doll to the gangster who extorts money from his friends and mooches off them. It is closer to you than you know. But here, we are focusing on bullying in children and teens.
Forms of bullying
There are various types of bullying and each type affects every child differently. Bullying is not all violent sometimes.
- Physical bullying — Physical bullying is the commonest type of bullying. It is prevalent in schools. Physical bullying is what comes to the minds of most people when they hear the word “bullying”. But it is way beyond that. It includes kicking, biting, hitting, punching and other physical attacks.
- Relational bullying— the mean girls in class belong to this group. Relational bullies are mostly influential people who wield so much influence. This set of bullies are the ones you find in the biggest cliques. They ostracize, spread rumours and divulge what they were told in confidence to their group.
- Prejudicial bullying — this type of bullying targets differences in sexual orientation, race and religion. An American could be chauvinistic( not patriotic) and he/she begins to attack people of other races. Prejudicial bullying is very common among the religious folk too. The Muslim girl says Allah is the greatest. The Christian boy says Christ is. When they do not learn to coexist despite their differences, the weaker person ends up bullied and mocked for his faith.
- Verbal Bullying — This is another popular type of bullying. This is also very common among young people. From the use of demeaning words to curses. Most adults often tell the person at the receiving end of verbal bullying to just ignore. They’re just words. This is not the appropriate thing to do. Words have a very big impact on people. Bullies should not be tolerated.
- Cyber-bullying— since the easy accessibility of the media, cyber-bullying has been on a drastic increase. The simplest sentence on the media can scar anyone for life. You know, the media is very fast. It is unlike gossip. A few keypads and the deed is done. For example, a young girl in love could send her nude photos to her boyfriend(this is highly discouraged). On breaking up with the said boyfriend, he could leak such photos as a way of getting back at her. https://www.stompoutbullying.org/sexting
The aforementioned are not the only types of bullying. There are others. But these are the most prevalent ones.
Now we move on to the target of bullies.
Which type of people are prone to bullying?
- The successful— Successful people are highly susceptible to bullying. They seem to always get all the attention from adults and from their peers. This can spark some jealousy in their peers and thus they become the target of the bullies.
- The Vulnerable— Vulnerable children are most likely to be bullied. These ones are usually submissive(even to their peers), anxious and introverted. Some of the children in this category also have low self esteem. This makes it very difficult for them to stand up to their bullies.
- The Isolated— Research shows that if a child has just one friend, the child’s chances of being bullied is drastically reduced. Children without friends are good targets for bullies. This is why it is highly encouraged that teachers and parents should instill good relationship values between children and their peers.
- Distinctive appearance—Bullies also target children whose physical appearances are not the usual. Like large eyes, thicker lips or even thinness. The bully targets these and makes it the subject of his/her bullying. This type of bullying greatly affects a child’s self-esteem especially in the formative years.
- Difference in sexual orientation— Teens are bullied by their peers because of differences in their sexual orientation. This is prejudicial bullying. This can lead to serious hate crimes.
How do you raise a child that stands up to bullies?
- Close relationship with your child — poor parent-child relationship fosters bullying too. A parent would not even know if a child is being bullied when they are not close. Such parent is too distant to see the signs.
- Listen to your child’s tales—
Redefine tattling! Those little stories your child tells you excitedly after school are important. Do not shut the child up. Listen. This way, you will know what goes on school everyday.
- Act quickly— Immediately your child tells you about anything he/she is uncomfortable with, look into it immediately. Bullying starts little by little. From just name-calling and it graduates into punches.
- Teach your child to be assertive— the more power a bully thinks he has over his victim, the more the abuse. Teach your child to talk back at the bully and to report to the appropriate authorities. These acts show the bully that the person being picked on will not give in to such victimization.
These links below lead to important articles with good information on this topic.