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Bullying- A Social and Mental Health Issue

Research says that nearly 40% of students drop out of school due to bullying. Children are unable to cope up with bullies around them and consider dropping out as an easy option. 

Someone who makes fun of others is referred to as a bully. Bullying can take the form of physical violence or simply unpleasant statements and acts that make another person feel uneasy or inferior. Common bullying behaviours may include- 

  • Calling names or making fun of each other in an unhealthy manner on a regular basis
  • On school grounds, pinch, push, hit, or otherwise hurt someone
  • Ignore instructions to quit harassing others
  • After being advised not to do it again by the school staff, you keep going back

Bullying may be physical, social, mental, emotional, sexual and even cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has increased a lot after the pandemic, however, it always existed though.

Bullying can cause problems with social connections and possibly lead to self-harm. Some children are so tormented that they have turned to suicide as an escape from the daily pain of being bullied.

Bullying can contribute to suicidal behavior’s severe sentiments of helplessness and hopelessness. Victims and offenders who have been subjected to persistent, frequent bullying are more likely to engage in suicidal conduct, with bully victims having the highest risk.

Bully and bullied both are having a difficult time with respect to their self Esteem. Both are facing mental health issues. Anxiety, Depression and feelings of self-harm are a part of both. Bullying does harm to both, however the one being bullied or the one at the receiving end faces a lot mentally and emotionally. The person is made to believe that he/she is unfit for the place and constantly his self-Esteem is challenged.

However, keeping quiet or quitting is no solution to the problem. One should voice it out. Here are a few ways through which bullying can be controlled or prevented

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Voice out to the nearest adult: Keeping quiet is no solution to any problem. Children should report any such issues to their teachers and parents. Timely intervention is the key to stop bullying at early stages.

Create a positive environment:  A healthy and free environment around children or colleagues facilitates positive growth and equality all around.

Stop, pause, think and then react: Immediate reaction to bullying may further aggravate the fire. Our reaction towards the bully and bullied has to be well thought and direction oriented. The situation needs to deal with affection and empathy.

Some of the ways in which schools or parents can deal with bullies are:

  • If it’s an adult, don’t put yourself in danger by addressing him or her directly, since this can be dangerous
  • Be a good listener and reassure your child about school bullying by accompanying him or her to school if possible or ensuring that they feel safe at school, because nothing compares to the fear of not knowing what will happen next when confronted with school bullying
  • It’s critical that you speak with school officials and employees about school bullying. A child’s ability to speak up is critical. So instill in them the ability to resist wrongdoing
  • Do not overlook school bullies or allow them to see how they have harmed your child because this will just encourage more bullying
  • If a school bully has physically harmed someone (by punching, kicking, or throwing an object at them), notify the administration or the police right once and tell the school staff everything that happened
  • If a school bully has entered your house, you should consult a lawyer immediately and inform local police
  • You might also want to talk to a therapist about what can be done to mitigate the impact of school bullying on your child

Bullying is a social and mental trauma for the one bearing it. We must try and be aware from our end and try to curtail it at an initial level itself. Bullying should be stopped at the bud level. We must try as parents and teachers of school going children to be aware of signs or symptoms of bullying or withdrawal in our children so that with timely intervention can help us save the child from going through an emotional turmoil.

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