Wednesday , 25 November 2020

Is your child being bullied?

Sidharth is not the only child who is victim to bullying, many school and college going children and elders in office or relationship also face this and it is very important to understand the dynamics of bullying.

avsEver since Sidharth went to fifth grade his parents stated noticing some change in his behaviour. An otherwise happy and playful child started becoming quite and if ever his elder sister lovingly teased him he would react very aggressively. Often in the morning he would complaint of severe stomach ache or headache to avoid going to school. Once he was not sent to school he would be fine in the day. What raised the parental alarm and that brought Sidharth to my clinic was that he had wet the bed couple of times.  Detail history of the recent changes and gentle skilled prodding revealed that two ninth grade boys were bullying him and threatening to harm if he complained to anyone.

Sidharth is not the only child who is victim to bullying, many school and college going children and elders in office or relationship also face this and it is very important to understand the dynamics of bullying.

Know itavs

Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others, specifically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, and younger or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. Bullying is a deliberate and repeated attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power. It’s a very durable behavioural style, largely because bullies get what they want-at least at first. Bullies are made, not born, and it happens at an early age, if the normal aggression of 2-year-olds isn’t handled well.

Many studies show that bullies lack prosocial behaviour and do not understand others’ feelings. Bullies couldn’t exist without victims, and they don’t pick on just anyone; those singled out lack assertiveness and radiate fear long before they ever encounter a bully. Grown-up bullies wreak havoc in their relationships and in the workplace.

Facts on bullying:

Imbalance of power. Typically those who engage in bully-like behaviors use their strength, popularity or power to harm, control or manipulate others. They will usually target those who are weaker in size or may have a difficult time defending themselves.

Intent to cause harm. A bully is a person who does not do things by accident. The bully intends to physically or emotionally injure a person or group of persons.avs

Repetition. Typically incidents of bullying are not a one-time thing. Bullies target the same person or group over and over again.

Types of bullying:

Verbal or written abuse – such as targeted name-calling or jokes, or displaying offensive posters.

Social – Spreading rumours, intentionally leaving others out of activities on purpose, breaking up friendships are all examples of social bullying.

Violence – hitting, punching, shoving and other acts of intention physical harm including threats of violence.

Sexual harassment – unwelcome or unreciprocated conduct of a sexual nature, which could reasonably be expected to cause offence, humiliation or intimidation

Homophobia and other hostile behaviour towards students relating to gender and sexuality

Discrimination including racial discrimination – treating people differently because of their identity

Cyber bullying – either online or via mobile phone

Bullying can happen anywhere. Many children and teens are regular victims of bullying, which can lead to serious emotional scarring and problems with the victim’s self-esteem and self-image. Correcting these behaviours before they start or get out of hand is important for parents and educators to keep in mind.

Watch out

It is important for parents to discuss the facts on bullying with their children to help teach them how to watch out for bullying and to avoid being bullied. There are several signs parents can look for when evaluating if your child is a victim of bullying.

Comes  home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings

Has change in eating habits

Makes excuses not to go to school

Has fewer friends

Feels helpless

Talks about suicide

Acts out of character

Avoids certain places or playing outside alone

Feels like they are not good enough

Has trouble sleeping

Blames themselves for their problems

Understanding these warning signs can help parents prevent their children from becoming bullies or help them not become a victim of a bully. Counselling or therapy are good methods in helping to treat a child who exhibits symptoms of bullying. Children who are victims may also need some kind of support or counselling to help resolve underlying issues of emotional feelings of inadequacy. Children who are confident and have higher self-esteem are less likely to fall prey to the attacks of bullying.

(Dr Sunita Patel, personal counselor, psychotherapist, homeopath can be contacted on

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