Childhood Bullying: Learn the Causes, Symptoms, Effects of this Dangerous Form of Abuse on Your Kids
Through the years, childhood bullying has always been a huge concern in our society. Kids and teens alike get mocked, taunted, and mistreated by bullies seemingly just for the fun of it. Little do these bullies know that their words and actions can leave a lifetime of traumatic scars on their victims.
Whether in school, neighborhood or in the virtual world, our children are never safe from bullies. A recent study shows that about 77% of students in the United States experience verbal abuse and other forms of mental bullying. Many of them are often ridiculed by their peers; some would hear nasty rumors about themselves while others would get tagged with demeaning names for their race, sexual orientation or religion.
Cyberbullying has also become prevalent. In social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, many young people seemingly can’t help but post mean comments on just about anything they stumble upon. A report says 80% of high school students are being harassed and even threatened online.
Despite being relentlessly picked on, many children are reluctant to report the bullies to school authorities, fearing that they’d be treated more severely if they do so.
Fortunately, schools and communities in the United States are becoming more and more active in putting an end to bullying.
What Makes a Bully?
Many of us have the notion that kids make fun of others simply because they find the latter hilarious. Some kids bully others to ease their own insecurities. These aren’t the only reasons behind the bullies’ behavior. Other factors that contribute to childhood bullying behavior include the following:
- Neglectful parenting
In many cases, children who were often ignored by their parents would vent their frustrations toward other kids. Some would see it as a way to get the attention of their folks.
- Superiority complex
Bullies feel a sense of power whenever they put others down. Knowing that they are feared upon fulfills their thirst for dominance.
- Social status
Some bullies believe that intimidating others can give them the spotlight. Not wanting to be seen as nobodies in their school, these kids poke fun at someone thinking that this would make them popular.
- History of rejection and bullying
As with abuse victims becoming abusers themselves, this can also be the case for children who have been bullied by family members or friends before.
Some bullies, especially those with low self-esteem, tend to target their victims out of pure jealousy. Seeing their victims hurt and bothered gives them the assurance that they are indeed far better.
‘How Would I Know If My Child Is a Victim of Bullying?’
There are many warning signs to look out for when you’re trying to figure out if your child is being bullied. Here are some signs telling you that your kid is possibly experiencing frequent bullying:
- Changes in eating habits
- Sudden mood swings
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Recurrent nightmares
- No interest to attend school anymore
- Unusual change in behavior
- Poor academic performance
- Anxiety, paranoia, and hypervigilance
- Physical complaints
- Lower self-worth
- Avoids certain places or going outside
- Unexplained bruises or wounds
If you notice a number of these signs on your child, talk to them right away and ask what’s going on. Consult with the school counselor and talk to the teachers to further confirm your suspicions.
What Harm Can Bullying Bring to Its Victims?
Childhood bullying can leave permanent damage to its victims. As they grow older, bullied kids are likely to develop emotional issues and mental disorders, especially if they do not receive professional help. We’re talking about depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even substance abuse.
It’s also likely that these kids will find it hard to trust someone new, making it more challenging for them to form relationships in the future. In worst case scenarios, young bullying victims who can no longer endure the shame and pain may be tempted to take their own lives to finally end their misery. A study in Britain reported that half of the suicide cases among the youth in that country are related to childhood bullying.
‘How Can I Help My Child Who’s Being Bullied?’
Perhaps the most important thing you need to do is to simply comfort your child. Before anything else, let them know how proud you are that they had the courage to come forward and tell you about their situation. Many kids are often hesitant to open up as they either feel embarrassed or are scared that their abusers will find out.
Give your child the assurance that they’re not alone and that you’ll be there to support them every step of the way. Tell them that there’s nothing wrong with them. They need to understand that it’s the bully who’s actually the problem, not them.
We know how stressful it is for parents to learn that their children are being victimized by bullies. You might feel hate towards the bully or even encourage your child to fight back. However, it’s best that you tell your child to simply ignore those bullying them. What you can do is to tell your child’s teacher about it.
Here are some things you can discuss with your child to help them handle the situation:
- Act unbothered
Bullies feed their egos once they see their victims getting upset and crumbling down. Practice different ways in which your child appears unaffected by rude comments.
- Ignore the bully
Teach your kid to keep a straight face and walk away instead of reacting immediately when a bully makes a rude remark directed at them. For sure, continuing to do this will confuse the bully, eventually forcing him to end his mischief.
- Be brave
Telling the bully to back off can actually work, too. Many of these bullies target weak-minded individuals. With your child showing a firm resolve not to be intimidated, the bully may think twice before saying any nasty word.
- Talk to an adult
School personnel—teachers, principals, counselors, and even nurses—play a significant role in helping bullied students. When they find out about someone getting harassed by another child, they will likely take action to address the situation right away.
- Participate in extracurricular activities
Joining a club or sports team can be a great outlet for your child to forget about the personal attacks made by bullies. Not only will it help your child rebuild their confidence, but it’s also a wonderful way to meet new friends.
Although many might agree that bullying is just a phase in a person’s life, it’s still crucial that you’re aware of the warning signs and what measures to take to prevent further psychological damage. Always lend an attentive ear to your child, compliment them, and check with their teachers from time to time.
Help Troubled Kids in Your Community
While taking action to protect your children from childhood bullying, you can also help other kids in your community who are suffering from serious illnesses and other physical, mental, and emotional trials. All it takes is a simple vehicle donation!
If you have an unwanted car or any other type of vehicle that you no longer need, hand it over to us at Kids Car Donations. We’ll gladly sell it via auction and use the proceeds to fund our nonprofit partners, enabling them to sustain their programs and services intended for troubled kids and teens. These services include medical treatment, access to free educational and social service resources, emotional well-being projects, and essential quality of life programs.
Take note that your charitable contribution is 100% tax deductible since it will go to our IRS-certified 501(c)3 charity partners. This means you are entitled to receive a top tax deduction from your car donation.
You can make your car donation by filling out our secure online donation form here or calling us directly. We accept vehicle donations anywhere in the United States since we have car donation programs in all 50 states.
Help Rebuild Young Lives
Are you ready to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate kids in your area? Call us at 866-208-5483 and help rebuild their young lives!