Bullying means using physical or social power to intimidate or hurt another person.
Everyone thinks they know what bullying is, yet that isn’t true. Most of us think of bullying as what happens in school – when kids bully other kids. We all have experienced bullying or have seen it happen to someone. In reality bullying is much more than just what happens in school. Bullying happens among adults as well, and it may happen at home or in the workplace.
Bullying in different environments Let’s look at some of the forms of bullying so common in our society.
Bullying among kids Bullying is common among kids – it may happen in school or after school as well. This is the most visible type of bullying because kids are anything but subtle. This is not to be taken lightly. Bullying can have lifelong consequences. If a child’s self-worth is destroyed by bullies in school they may have a very hard time getting it back. The biggest problem is that bullying often happens due to reasons that children do not fully grasp. A child may be bullied because they are poor, because they are shy, because of their sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, and much more.
Bullying in couples Bullying is also often seen in couples. One party may use their strength to bully the other party into doing things they may not want to do. Bullying among couples may be a sign of domestic abuse as well, but not necessarily.
Family members One of the most invisible yet damaging form of bullying is the one that happens at home. Parents may be bullying the children and berating them for every little thing. Bullying happens between siblings as well. In specially toxic environments one child may be singled out by the whole family to bully. Family oriented bullying is the worst form of bullying because in most cases it is impossible for the child to extract themselves from the situation.
Signs of Family Oriented Bullying In order to prevent bullying we must first be able to detect it. One of the biggest signs of family oriented bullying is that the child does not want to bring any friend home. Another sign is the child often skipping school and unexplained injuries. If a child is being bullied by a sibling it may be hard to detect even for the parents – because the fear of the bully keeps the child from telling the parents. It is important for parents to observe how the children interact. If one child always seems to yield to another and never stands up for themselves it may be a sign that there is bullying going on in the household.
Most children fight – that in itself is not a major issue. However if you notice that one always seems to win the fights and may also be the one that instigates the fights then you may be witnessing serious bullying. Don’t worry – studies have shown that showing empathy results in children understanding empathy better as well. If you think that one of your children is bullying another you need to support the child being bullied, and openly discuss the behavior of the bully with them.