Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. This imbalance distinguishes bullying from conflict. Bullying is the activity of repeated, aggressive behaviour intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally, or emotionally.
There are three main types of individual bullying which are most prevalent in primary school and could also begin much earlier which could even continue into later stages in life. They are listed below-
Verbal bullying is one of the most common types of bullying, the main weapon being used here is the voice. It includes teasing, name calling, taunting, threatening to cause harm, laughing at someone, or otherwise insulting or making fun of someone.
Physical bullying generally involves hurting an individual or their possessions. It includes acts such as hitting/kicking/punching, spiting, pushing, taking away or breaking others stuff. It is generally the first kind of abuse a person experience and over a period of time this might escalate and end up being life threatening.
Social bullying which is sometimes also referred to as relation bullying or social aggression is the type of bullying that uses relationships to hurt others. It includes leaving someone out on purpose, telling children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumours about someone and embarrassing someone in public. Social bullying in general denotes any bullying that is done with the intent to hurt someone’s reputation or social standing.
It can be very hard to know if your child is stressed out or being bullied until unless your child tells you or has visible bruises or injuries. Some other warning signs may include
• Kids acting differently or seeming anxious
• Children seem to be moodier or get more easily upset.
• Not eating, not sleeping well or not doing the things they usually enjoy.
If one suspects a child is being bullied and is reluctant of opening up- find ways of bringing up the issue...
For instance, you might notice a situation on a TV show and ask, “What do you think of this?” or “What do you think that person should have done?” This might lead to questions like, “Have you ever seen this happen?”
Another interesting way of bringing this up would be talking to kids about your experiences or others experiences at that age. Kids should know that if they are being bullied, they need to talk to someone about it.
Children must understand that bullies have a need for power and control. They like to hurt others and often lack self-control and sensitivity towards others. It might also be helpful for children to use such strategies while dealing with bullies-
• Do not let a bully make you feel bad.
• Tell the bully how you feel.
• Never reward the bully with tears.
• Try to disarm the bully with humour.
• Always try and bring up the matter with an adult.
• Avoid the bully.
One should always remind kids that it’s not their fault, they are not alone and you’re there to help them. It is important that kids learn to manage and identify their emotions and feelings and communicate them to an adult. It is also important to encourage kids to spend time with friends who have a positive influence. Participation in clubs, sports or other activities builds strength and friendship.
Always provide a listening ear about tough situations, but also encourage your children to tell you about the good parts of their day. Make sure they know that you believe in them and you will do whatever you can to address any bullying they experience.
Our early childhood education centre, Dolphin POD follows a strict bullying policy, and no such behaviour is tolerated. We encourage children to be vocal and voice out any mishap, if in case any, to their coaches immediately.