In recent times, we have seen numerous cases of bullying – mostly of school children, many of which resulted to the death of the victim, grievous bodily harm and lots more.
Bulling can be defined as the use of force, coercion, threat or harmful teasing to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate.
Parents ought to be on the lookout for signs of their child being a bully or being bullied. The negative effect of bullying on school children and adolescents can not be over emphasized and if not curtailed will affect the general development of both the bully and the victim.
The negative effects of bullying includes:
- It lowers the victim’s self esteem.
- It can lead to depression and suicide
- It can lead to permanent body damage
- It can lead to death
- It can affect the victim’s learning ability
- It can affect the victims ability to trust others and to socialize
How can bullying can be prevented or stopped
Parents need to learn to listen to their children They need to pay attention to their children’s emotions, no matter how unreasonable it may seem
Parents also ought to make proper enquiries before enrolling their children in schools and learn about the school’s anti-bullying policies They should help their children to build their confidence
What to do when you discover that your child is a victim of bullying
Take care of your child, reassure them that you will take necessary steps to see the perpetrators punished. Get the facts of what happened right, and report the incident to the school
If possible your child can stop going to school for some time, Follow up the school’s response to be sure they carry out disciplinary steps against the bully
Then monitor your child to ensure the bullying has stopped. If bullying continues after reporting to the school and the necessary bodies, withdraw your child from the school. You can also take up legal action against the school
On the side of the parents of a bully, most times it comes as a shock that their innocent looking and calm children are reported as being bullies, this is not a time to try to defend your child but time to get your facts right.
Most times children can become bullies because of peer pressure, probably they need to show how strong they are in order to belong to certain group of friends, some are being emotionally neglected by their parents or going through serious distress or even depression.
Therefore this is the time to give your child attention and try to study him/her closely
What parents of a bully should do
Pay closer attention to the needs of your children. Do not try to cover up their child’s act or defend them
Educate them on the best ways to relate with their mates without being aggressive. Try to get your child to open up about what had happened and why they reacted the way they did
Teach your children to be more considerate of the feelings of others. If none of this helps, seek professional help.
Bullying is a societal evil that can be eradicated if both parents, students and schools will play their part respectively and take positive steps against it.