We will talk a little bit about bullying in schools, okay. Bullying is nothing but repeated aggressive behaviour towards another child, which can result in intentional, mental or physical harm. It could involve acts such as calling names, isolating a child during activities and play, being target for rumors, physically being hit or pushed around, having one’s belongings being snatched away and other such acts causing fear and distress. It is a common problem around the world. More common than we know, as it most often goes unreported. Now, where can these bullying happen in the school premises? Bullying occurs more frequently in school playgrounds, where adult supervision is inadequate. Smaller children get bullied during breaks and lunch hour when there are no teachers in classroom or hallways. And kids can be bullied in school buses too.
Victims are generally kids who are passive and shy, who do not make friends easily and maybe having low self-esteem. Hence, bullying can lower their confidence further, make school a fearful and negative learning experience, these kids can complain of headaches and stomach aches frequently causing absenteeism from school, prolonged and repetitive fear can lead to depression and when older to possible mental instability. Now, these bullies are kids who are aggressive, like being in charge and deriving sadistic pleasure from bullying. Feeding their need for dominance can make them violent, they distract other children in the environment and their aggression and impulsiveness, if unchecked, can lead to serious anti-social behavior when older.
Here are some of the things that you can do for a child who is being bullied. Always keep the channel of communication open with your kids. Talk to them every day about how their day was in school. Ask them what were the best and worst parts of their day. Inquire if they were bothered by anyone. Talk to your kids about bullying, so that when they see anyone getting bullied or if they are victims to such behaviors, they can recognize it and know that it is an unacceptable act. Watch out for worrying signs in your child, like falling grades, looking sad, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches and stomach aches, looking for excuses to miss school and new onset bedwetting. Now, when being bullied or seeing someone else getting bullied, your child needs to do the following: look the bully in the eye and be confident while asking them to stop, to walk away from the site, not run like they are in fear, to always go and inform an adult right away and not fear retaliation by the bully as only someone more powerful than the bully can stop him or her. Have your child’s mental wellbeing evaluated by a pediatrician, if you’re worried that bullying is affecting them.
What can schools do to prevent bullying? Every child deserves to go to school and feel safe there. The schools need to have a strict, no-tolerance policies for bullying. They need to have adequate adult supervision, in and out of the classroom. They need to take action right away when any such behavior puts forth to them. Bullies need to be confronted. Teachers and parents should interact and follow up with any behavioral changes observed in a child for possible bullying. The school psychologist or counsellor, if present, can talk to both the victim and the bullies for behavioral therapy.
– Ovum Hospital Team