Childhood is the period of physical, social, intellectual and emotional development. Any trauma or damage caused to the child effects their mental health and hinders the overall development. Bullying is one of the major cause that disrupts the mental health and well being among children and youth. Bullying is a pattern of aggressive behavior exhibited repeatedly by an intention to harm others. Bullying in any form for both who are bullied and the ones who bullies has serious and lasting implications. Bullies use their position of power such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity and the most vulnerable children face a higher risk of being bullied. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Bullying can hence be verbal, physical or social. Cyber bullying is also a major area of concern as the increasing technology and social media has opened several platforms for the bullies to bully other children online.
Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues they are more likely to experience Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood. Deteriorated health, Decreased academic achievement and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors such as Abuse alcohol and other drugs, Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school, Engage in early sexual activity, Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults and Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults.
How can we help our kids if we suspect them of bulling or being bullied?
- Develop a healthy communication with your child, listen to them carefully
- Be a support system
- Make them confident and help them believe in themselves
- Be a positive role model
- Talks to their peers and teachers
- Be a part of their online experiences
- Work through healthy ways of coping
- Educate them with consequences and give them opportunity to amend