Bullying is a difficult thing to deal with for both the victim and their family. Bullying most often occurs among school age children as they make their way through a society of children trying to establish and figure out their own places in the social structure. Some children have a tendency to be more dominant, while others are naturally more timid. Neither is necessarily the “right” way to be, but sometimes, the mix of students can lead to situations where bullying occurs.
There are different types of bullying and they are not all easy to spot. In fact, most bullies are sly enough to make sure that their inappropriate behaviors happen well away from situations where authority figures like parents and teachers might intervene. Physical bullying is possibly the easiest form of the behavior to spot. This is where there is actual physical contact between the bully and his or her victim. If the bully goes so far as to administer a beating to another child, there is a fair chance that they will end up being confronted for the behavior. If they are more subtle however, even physical bullying can go unnoticed.
Emotional bullying is quite common among children. This is where name calling and the spreading of untrue rumors usually falls. The old adage about names never hurting could not be less true. Spending every day of the school year being quietly tortured by bullies who make rude and nasty comments can leave emotional scars that will last for years. Students who are being bullied in this way need to let parents or teachers know what is going on.
Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of bullying in which today’s technology is put to use to torment the victim. This can be a particularly devastating form of abuse as it can literally reach millions of people on the internet or by being spread by cell phones. Bullies who consider using this method should be aware that they could be setting themselves and their parents up for extremely serious legal issues if the victim decides to involve the authorities.
As parents and responsible adults, we must help children who are suffering at the hands of bullies. We have to educate children and teach them how to deal with bullies. Look for changes in behavior and ask questions. Let children know that if they get bullied, it is not their fault. Bullies must be made aware that the behavior is unacceptable as soon as any type of bullying behavior is seen or suspected.