Bullying and Harassment – Two Extremely Damaging Behaviors

Fatal Behaviors for Some Individuals

The phenomenon of bullying or harassment is one that is more and more common in children’s school or social environments. It is associated with physical, verbal or emotional harassment, either in the garden or at school, or in online environments. In this situation, we are talking about cyber aggression.
If the victims of the phenomenon are the aggressors are the children, the aggressors are found not only among children, but even adults themselves can become aggressors. Of course, we are talking about a position of authority that the adult always has against the vulnerable and adult dependent child. Physical or emotional abuse leaves the smallest fingerprints difficult to manage that have consequences on the victim’s childhood, but also on the adult life.
The effects of bullying and harassment on children are very sad. Those affected may develop behavioral or depressive disorders, feel deep anxiety, or, worse, develop suicidal intentions. Victims of this form of abuse often feel excluded by others. Therefore, they have difficulty in getting together and feel alone.
Exclusion and especially humiliation is a huge psychological blow, with long-term effects such as loss of self-confidence and others, introversion, alienation, fear, depression, retreat, rage, even revenge. For many children, interacting with other children in places where adult supervision is lower (in the school yard, on the sports ground, on breaks, or on the way home) is a very painful life lesson.
All these experiences in which a child is made to do some humiliating things for the fun of other children is harassment (labeled, threatened, dispossessed of certain goods, etc.,). Some of these children will also choose to adopt the same behavior by exploiting those they perceive to be “weaker” than them or lacking in resources (eg, they do not have friends), others remain “the trick of playing the game” because they are afraid to speak. There is also the category of children who manage to face their fears and ask the help of an adult.
Because we can not always accompany our children to all places where they have to go, especially at the age of adolescence it is very important to teach them how to deal with these situations.

Bullying is an umbrella term that incorporates a series of aggressive behaviors through which a child seeks to gain some benefits such as appreciation, valorisation, attention from other colleagues, or even a range of goods. It differs from other types of aggressive behaviors (hit, snatch, pushed, cursed) in that it does not appear as a reaction to certain emotions of discomfort (anger, sadness, etc.).

Why are bullying and harassment similar?

With age, the frequency of bullying behaviors increases. The most common forms of bullying in school are: teasing (eg. “four-eyed cook” for children wearing glasses, “whale” for children with a higher weight, “giraffe” for taller children, “poor” (“Do not talk to her!”, “You have nothing to look for on the field of sport!”), the scattering of children false rumors.
Switching to gymnasium is associated with increasingly complicated forms of bullying and harassment. The following are added: intimidation, humiliation, destruction of personal belongings (tearing out sheets of the notebook or breaking objects), disposing of goods (money, food, clothes).

Why do some children choose bullying and harassment?

The bullying behavior is a way for some children to learn to receive attention, although in a negative way. Other children manifest themselves so because they have learned to feel strong (when others are afraid of them). For other children, bullying behavior is an easy way to be perceived by others as “cool”. The need for integration is so great that children can behave so as to be accepted by children of greater popularity. There are also situations when children imitate learned models – they act the same way they were treated in their life contexts. And there is also the category of children who misinterpret the cultural and ethnic differences.
How the lives of those who frequently show bullying behaviors will be affected?
Bullying is a risk factor for school dropout and juvenile delinquency. Aggressive students are 5 to 6 times more likely to engage in antisocial actions in adulthood.

What impact does bullying have on the life of the child receiving such treatment?

Most often, a child who has been severely aggressed ends up interrupting school for fear of being aggressed again. Even in the lightest forms, repeated exposure to an aggression for children will result in development of many mental health problems: depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.

What can we do?

A child who is a victim of bullying and harassment needs adult support around him. With your help, kids learn how to cope with teasing, nicknaming or other more serious forms. Every child needs to receive the message that these types of behaviors are unacceptable. Because bullying and harassment usually occur in child communities, this message needs to be promoted and strengthened both at school and at home. Because bullying affects all pupils in the group, it is not just about the child who is aggressing and the victim, it is important to teach the children what to do if they are witnessing such an event. Bullying witnesses, who are usually the other children, often feel secretly relieved that they are not the target of bullying and tend to avoid the aggressor, not willing to intervene in defending the aggressed child. Bullying creates a pervasive and undefined atmosphere of intimidation, fear and silence among children.

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