Bullying Prevention and Dangers
Unfortunately, many children today are affected negatively by bullying. It may be a situation that presents itself to parents by showing that the child is having challenges emotionally or hurt from a teacher or a community member who has witnessed the bullying directly. It can be devastating for a parent to realize that their child has become the victim of bullying. When bullying escalates, it can lead to serious mental and physical issues. Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior and a type of abuse that involves a balance of power between at least two people and is repeated over time.
Bullying can take many different forms, all of which can have detrimental effects on a child. This can even happen online or via email. Some of the most common forms of bullying include verbal, emotional, and physical abuse. What may be interpreted as teasing or friendly joking can develop into bullying and can lead to catastrophic injuries for a child who interprets this over time. The CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey attempts to understand the scope of bullying. According to that 2015 research, as many as one out of five high school students experienced bullying on school property and a further 15% of high school students reported being bullied electronically during the same year. The physical and mental health of a victim can have many ripple effects throughout their life.How Bullying Impacts Children
Anyone who engages in bullying can also have a greater chance of engaging in violent or anti-social behavior. A child who is the victim of bullying may try to keep things quiet for some time but the parents may notice when it interferes with their academic progress. Regardless of how the bullying manifests itself in a child's life, it is important for parents and the victim to respond effectively. Bullying prevention efforts have been noticed in the news in the last several years. Additionally, legislators have worked hard to identify opportunities to reduce bullying across the board. Some of the most common methods for preventing bullying before it ever happens include using bullying prevention material that is designed for various grade levels.
Creating policies against bullying that can be communicated easily to students, parents and staff and encouraging other students who witness bullying to come forward to report incidents and to support victims. Parents should also be mindful of prevention efforts such as discussing with other children what should happen if they witness someone else being bullied. Being aware of the school's anti bullying rules and policies can also empower students who witness bullying or students who are victims themselves of bullying.
In the event that a child witnesses another minor as a victim of bullying, reaching out to the school for appropriate help is strongly recommended. Bullying can involve many different types of behavior including teasing, kicking, punching, biting, threatening, retaliation, or attempting to spread rumors about someone. Often bullying does not begin and end with only one incident. Rather it is a pattern of behavior that is repeated over time that often extends to more than one victim. Other children may feel uncomfortable with how to react to a bullying incident or a pattern of bullying because they are afraid of becoming involved themselves as a victim or escalating the problem further.
Reporting incidents of bullying to the school and telling other administrators and responsible adults can help to raise awareness about the scope of bullying and to stop individual incidents but in order to address bullying comprehensively and to prevent the many physical and mental injuries and issues that can follow a victim of bullying for life, it is important to take a community wide approach. Recognizing that bullying is wrong and that it takes many different forms and should never be carried out is an extremely important component of stopping the cycle of bullying. When other children witness bullying, it should also be their responsibility to report the concerns to a responsible adult. All of this can be important components to reducing the cycle of bullying and the number of victims who are affected physically and mentally every year.
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