The tiny heart started beating faster; the plump fist clenched harder and before long, it had successfully implanted a heavy blow on the tempting forehead of the one sitting beside him.
Three years old Ankush was now deliberately made to sit separately; a passive treatment for bullying another kid. It was directed towards self-rectification along with the required kindling of remorse for the mischief done. However, Ankush was still in deep water, utterly confused; after all why had Anjela not paid him his habitual attention? Why had he been left out? The surge of conflicting emotions had been too much for the naïve mind, and he had sought to mitigate through bullying.
What is bullying and who are bullies
Bullying constitutes an undesirable behavior that involves purposeful hitting, punching or teasing. It may also stoop to calling someone using vile names, or unabashedly spreading lies and bad rumors. A kid who bullies others develops an intimidating behavior, clinging on to it being stubbornly sure that it’s normal. It is an acquired behavior that can be molded.
Reasons for kids bullying other kids
- Negative behavior at home: Children have a natural urge to imitate elders while growing up. An image of forever fighting parents or siblings leads the child to accept such volatile outbursts as normal. Consequently, bullying others appears passé. Lack of involvement and love and strict adherence to discipline within the family also germinates the seeds of bullying.
- Seeking attention: Uncontrolled pampering by overzealous parents result in fostering undue self-worth in the child and when out in the social context, he fails to get so, and he/she is subjected to a crushing sensation of low self-esteem coupled with powerlessness. The agonized mind craves for relief, and it finally exerts in inflicting physical pain, being alone or destroying one’s things.
- Deriving pleasure from being mean: When dominating others makes the child feel superhero-like, smarter, stronger or better, he/she is naturally inclined to reap the habit and exult the outcome. He remains blissfully ignorant of the fatal effects on whom he/she is practicing the skill.
- As a preventive measure: Bullying may be adopted as a protective tool to keep other bullies at bay.
Why do kids get bullied
Unraveling this situation would necessitate us to analyze the situation from Angela’s point of view, if dwelt on the starting story. Angela, it turned out was predominantly submissive, and indeed a tingling stomach ache had turned her passive. So had Ankush taken advantage of frail temperament solely? A careful study shows there are many other pressing reasons.
- A student’s superior intelligence, better looks, popularity may pave the way for unbridled jealousy and commence bullying.
- The difference in religion, cultural beliefs may call forth bullying.
- Disabilities such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism existing in a child may be looked down upon by a certain overbearing child as a nuisance.
- Children may be bullied owing to their racial backgrounds.
Children and bullying: How to stop kids from bullying others
Make your child comprehend what bullying means: Even at a tender age, tell your child who a bully is, using simple explicit statements as “He who forces his wishes or hits others is called a bully’” or through stories that explore the stigma. Help him to realize how it’s not at all nice.
Teach positive behavior at home: Encourage him/her to thank every person whose service your child enjoys. It may enlist in its purview your maid, plumber, milk boy, mail carrier and others. Simultaneously, egg them to make use of polite words like “sorry”, “excuse me” and “may I” in social dealings.
Organize and let the child follow your set of rules: Your kid must never be allowed to whisk away with bullying. If he/she has shoved someone, say firmly how it has hurt the other person. Deprive the child of a desired pastime, like watching a cartoon, or cycling, to drive home the seriousness of the issue.
Favorable etiquettes can also be bred through guided practice: Tell your child after buying goodies at a shopping mall, “I am going to stand patiently in queue as the kind lady who is billing has a tough job there.’’ Such thoughtful insights would undoubtedly help your child term with unpleasing situations.
Honing the social skills: To arm your child with the shield of managing himself in the society, prepare him beforehand through simple conversations as, “What will you do honey, if Samantha doesn’t play with you?” Propel him/her towards the sought behavior by suggesting, “don’t you think it will be better if you play on your own one day; she might be having a bad tummy.”
Consider counseling: The situation may be grave, and your child may be suffering from an undetected learning disability. Hence, reach out for medical help.
Older kids and bullying: Effects of internet and smartphones
The new age with its plethora of smartphones and gadgets is sufficient to allure a prospective teenage mind into believing that everything is possible. There hangs a veil of misguided notions propagated through media and networking sites, and such is the vulnerability of that particular age that the teenager turns aggressive, unmindful and self-seeking. They have to be with the flow.
Why is cyber bullying so common
Cyber bullying is a manifestation of such desperateness. The Internet seems to be the safest place to vomit disgruntled feelings, shower raw abuses or sing piteous elegies even when the occasion concerns dissatisfaction between a teacher and student. The possibility of remaining anonymous and the opportunity to evade face to face confrontation makes a student bold and assertive while pouring discontentment.
Remember the Pied Piper of Hamlin who being disgusted with the selfishness of the residents had lured the children of the town into a heavenly cavern where only the good rejoiced? We definitely do not want our children to get lost amidst the tentacles of self-centeredness, jealousy, contempt and other vices. We do not wish them to become a bully or a despot. We want them to be happy, but not at the cost of another’s happiness.