Bullying … What you can do about it

“Every third child is bullied in school, shows study” TOI September, 2015.

“What Indian Schools Must Learn From The Suicide Of A Bullied Bengaluru Schoolboy” Huffington Post July 2016.

Are these isolated incidents or …

Bullying is the sad truth about schools all over the world. Parents blame schools, schools blame parents and the game continues with the children caught in the grind.

Let us try to understand this phenomenon and what parents, teachers, and others in society can do to stop this evil practice.

What is bullying?

School going children inherently lack confidence because they must face the world alone without their parents by their side. Every child tries to assert his or her own superiority over other children and for the most part this falls within the realm of healthy competition. It becomes bullying when targeted towards a specific child – or children – with a view to undermining them.

Bullying is a negative behavior – undermining – while competition is positive – assertion.

Why do bullies bully?

What emerges from the above description is that the bully needs to assert himself. While there are many complex emotions involved in bullying and violent personalities some of the most common among children are –

The capability – every child has one – of the bully is neither immediately apparent nor appreciated.

The bully perceives himself as lacking, undermined, and often abused – which may or may not be true.

He needs an outlet for his emotions.

He chooses bullying – for lack of other outlets.

A child struggles with a multitude of emotions such as low confidence, fear, anger, envy, and a strong desire to gain popularity. This struggle drives children to do things which they may not otherwise do – ergo bullying.

When addressing the problem of bullying, we must acknowledge that the bully is as much a victim as the bullied.

What is the solution?

Nipping this problem in the bud is the best solution.

Identification

The biggest obstacle is identification. Teachers – who are overburdened – often fail to notice the subtle hints that indicate bullying nature. For example a child may be provoking other children to misbehave, taking away and hiding their stuff – often perceived as stealing – dominating other children during recess and other similar behavior. Such behavior – even when pointed out – is often overlooked in favor of other pressing issues. When brought to the teacher’s notice, she will at most inform the parents of both children and ask them to address the problem. Often the teacher may not be fully aware of the consequences herself!

Positive Action

When bullying occurs, one of three parties must take the initiative for positive action –

  1. Parents of the bullied child – they are the most likely to initiate the process
  2. The teacher
  3. Parents of the bully.

The idea is to set up a three party meeting between both sets of parents and the school principal. The main agenda of this meeting – an open and frank discussion of the problem – should be made clear at the outset, with the understanding that what is discussed remains within the four walls of the room where the meeting takes place.

Both sets of parents must be made aware of the negative effects of the behavior and efforts must be made to understand the cause.

The Parents

Teaching your child to retaliate when dominated or bullied by their peers only serves to make him respond to any kind of pressure in an aggressive way.

If your child is a victim of bullying, the first thing to do is to get the facts. When you visit the school, talk to other children and try to find out what went on. It is possible your own child unintentionally provoked the aggression.

Request a meeting with the teacher, principal, the school counselor, and the parents of the bully. Do this in a calm way without aggression or anger. Simply say that you would like to talk to the parents of such-and-such child in the presence of the concerned authorities, to discuss some issues. Be persuasive – again without anger – until you gain an audience.

Both sets of parents must be made aware of the negative effects of the behavior and efforts must be made to understand the cause.

Once the meeting is set-up report the incident in a matter-of-fact manner without any accusations and allegations.

State clearly that your intention is not to complain but to find a solution.

Remember to be sympathetic to the bully’s parents and show your understanding that their child is as much a victim as your own.

Bullying can be easily rectified by keeping an open mind and taking a few simple steps.

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12 thoughts on “Bullying … What you can do about it

Add yours

  1. Hey Cherie! Thanks for joining TYM and welcome to the group. We’ve messaged you on FB but here’s the reproduction of that message for your convenience.
    Just wanted to let you know that you can post in the group as long as you do not use any URLs or Backlinks – those are paid and allowed only once a week.
    But generic inspirational and motivational posts – like the one’s you have on your blog – are free and you can post them anytime. Just please remember to had #blogyourniches to every post.
    Here’s hoping for some great posts from you and traction from our members.!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you so much for posting and spreading awareness! As someone who was once bullied, and now uses it to help others who are bullied today, I so appreciate it! Awesome post! ❤

    Like

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