Bullying – Just say no!
Bullying is a very serious problem. This type of behavior makes children feel hurt, scared, sick, lonely, ashamed and sad. Bullies will hit, kick, push or speak badly about another person. They can threaten, tease, put down, and intimidate their victims.
Bullies can also spread rumors about someone, take other children’s things, make fun of or exclude a classmate from the group. Some bullies will make their victims do things they don’t want to do.
Bullying is a huge problem that affects many children and teenagers every day. One third of kids say they have been bullied in their schools. Teasing and bullying will make children not want to play outside or go to school. It is very difficult to concentrate on your school work when you are worried about facing your bully the next day. Bullying upsets everyone and not only those children who are the victims. It affects families, educators, administrators. Bullying can turn schools into a scary place and it can cause violence and stress for everybody.
Cyber bullying is as dangerous or more than bullying practiced inside the classroom. Bullies can intimidate their victims through their phones or computers and make it even more frightening when you don’t know where the threats are coming from.
Why do bullies act that way?
Some bullies want attention. They think that bullying someone will make them more popular or they will get what they want. Mostly they want power. Most bullies need to feel more important than others. When they intimidate someone else, they believe they are strong and powerful. Some bullies come from families where everyone is always angry and yelling. They probably think that being angry, putting people down and pushing one another is the right way to be. This is what they learn from their families. Other bullies are simply copying what others are doing. Some bullies have been victims themselves.
Sometimes bullies know that what they are doing or saying hurt people. But some bullies may have no idea how much their actions can be damaging to their victims. Most bullies do not understand or do not care about other people’s feelings.
Bullies usually know which children will feel intimidated or afraid. They usually choose those who they know cannot stand up for themselves. When their victims react with fear, bullies feel they accomplished what they were after. Bullies will usually pick on those kids who are considered “different”. Other times they will intimidate a child for no apparent reason at all.
Bystanders – an important role
Every time bullying happens, other children and adults may participate by just observing. These people are called bystanders in the bullying dynamics. Many times bystanders will join the bullies and make fun of the victims too. Many times bystanders will do nothing to help children who do not know how to defend themselves. Most of the times, though, bystanders don’t do anything because they feel afraid of the bullies and of becoming their next victims.
Bullying: how do we stop it?
The good news is: bullying is a learned behavior that can be unlearned. Bullies can change their attitudes when they learn to use the power they have in a positive way. Parents, teachers, administrators can help too. Some bullies become amazing people. Others will never change.
Bystanders can help by defending those kids who can’t do it themselves. When bystanders do not engage in the bully’s behavior, they tend to stop and lose their power.
However, the best way to eliminate bullying is to promote an open and honest dialogue among children and adults about issues that have been oppressing them in their campuses. By doing that, it is possible to create a safe and affectionate environment inside the school.
We need to help kids break down the barriers that have been separating them for so long and build safe and healthy connections in their groups.
Every day, all over the world, young people and adults are victims of bullying – a behavior that can have devastating consequences to the self-esteem of all affected. We all need to be aware of the impact our actions and words have on the people we relate to.
What examples are you giving the people around you every day? Do you know?
So, let’s connect?
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