Understanding the Important Role Children Play in Bullying
One of the biggest fears a parent has is the mistreatment of their child. Bullying has garnered a lot of attention recently in an effort to curb its’ rate of occurrence. But what really is bullying and what role does your child play in it?
Bullying by definition is an occurrence of unwanted and aggressive behavior made by children. It typically stems from a power imbalance. This means that children use their power to dominate others.
Bullying can happen in a variety of ways such as physical bullying, which can involve hurting another’s body or belongings. Verbal bullying can also occur, which can include teasing, name-calling, and the use of threats. Social bullying is another form and is one we often do not think about. It involves hurting another’s relationship with others. A couple examples include leaving a child out on purpose and spreading rumors.
Due to the widespread use of technology we have now also entered the realm of cyberbullying. Some children are using the Internet and other electronic devices to cause harm to another child. This can include rumors posted on social media sites, posting embarrassing pictures online as well as sending unkind email or text messages.
Now that we understand the different facets of bullying, it is important to understand the role children play in its’ occurrence so that we, as parents and caregivers, can put an end to it. Bullying is not just limited to a person doing the bullying and the person being bullied. There is also often a child witnessing the event, which can encourage the bullying to continue. They may even assist in the bullying by joining in or laughing. Or they can be a bystander and witness the event while doing nothing.
Kids see bullying everyday. It can be challenging and uncomfortable for a child to face a peer and speak up against bullying. While not every child is comfortable speaking up, there are other ways they can help. Children can tell an adult about the bullying or they can be a friend to the child being bullied, providing needed emotional support. For those with small children, it is vital to set a good example from the start so they understand the importance of treating others with respect and kindness.
By working together we can create strong children who are kind and compassionate. This important lesson begins at home and must continue through adolescence. If you have questions about bullying and would like to talk with us, please give us a call at 910.486.5437.