Bullying can affect a child’s development – having lasting impact into adulthood and society as a whole. Together, we can change that.
Any child can be bullied. It usually happens over a period of time, rather than a single event. However, every single incident instills fear and anxiety for the future.
It occurs mostly today in or around peer group settings, either at school or via the internet or social media. It can be when children either don’t fit into a set group or are pushed out, or have a falling out with another child. There are many ways in which bullying manifests itself and goes unnoticed from physical disguised as ‘hard play’ to denigration and name calling passed off as ‘extreme teasing’.
It happens too as a result of competition with others, in situations where children are forced to mix with others they don’t get along with, or just because they are different in some way to the rest of the clique. They can have learning difficulties, be disabled, or just even super bright or attractive.
Some children who are bullied are able to bounce back from their experiences but they mostly need help in order to do so.
Otherwise they may become anxious and hypersensitive. If this happens, they are likely to lose confidence and the ability to concentrate. Bullied children may perform poorly at school and appear timid, which may in turn encourage more bullying.
The effects of bullying and the pain of this form of rejection can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. Some cases have resulted in anorexia, alcoholism, a significant change in personality and even suicidal tendencies. The impact may well carry through to adult life. Adults who have suffered while at school or during the years just following it often report confidence issues as a result. Others who have had their school disrupted by bullying pay heavily by having not reached their academic potential and fulfilled their ambitions.
The difference between banter and bullying
Teasing and intimidation are not the same. And it is not possible to protect children from all the rough and tumbles of modern life and community living, nor is it always advisable to do so. They have to learn to integrate in the world around them and find their special niche. However, bullying is a very serious matter. It has become more intense, more prevalent and more insidious since the advent of the internet and social media age. This is why we must work together to reduce and confront it whenever we come across it.
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We’ve made quite a splash with our campaigns. But with your help, we can continue to change social attitudes on bullying and abuse wherever it occurs.
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Promoting peaceful solutions to abuse. Campaigning to influence policy, advising victims, teachers and parents. Building pro-social media support.