Effects of Bullying and How to Prevent It.
Bullying is an unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behavior. It involves a stronger individual or group using force on a weaker individual or group which causes physical and especially psychological effects on the person or group being bullied.
The problem is, Bullies are everywhere at school, at church, at government and everywhere. In this brand new Interview from TeenQuest, Mark Witt, Director of TeenQuest and his son Jason Witt, Director of Student Ministries discusses the Effects of Bullying and How we can Prevent them.
This post gives you insights on situations where there can be bullying, and the effects of that. What bullies are like? The technology which is also being misused for bullying? How can we help prevent bullying at school? The differences between teasing and bullying and how can we help children deal with bullying.
What is Bullying?
Mark: When I was a kid, I remember riding the bus to school, and the kids that rode before us on the bus were sitting at the back, and my older brother and I came on the bus and sat closer to the front, and some of those guys, older guys were not just teasing us but they were actually bullying us, especially my older brother. They’d end up throwing rotten eggs, snap his ears, says all kinds of things to him, and me as well as a younger brother. I remember that was my first experience Jason and experience a bully, bullying other people. We were the victims of that bully and I noticed that when I was a kid and it just was a very difficult time for my older brother, over these few years of his experience when he went to school.
Jason: Yeah absolutely. It can really affect the kid bullied at a young age, especially when they’re developing and they never had that experiences of another human being being almost downright evil to them. I remember the times when I’ve been on the opposite and I’ve teased people not realizing that they’re been dealing with being bullied from other people and they might start crying or something,
I had no idea, some would come and tell me that that person’s really gets picked on at school or this or that , but I really did not mean to hurt their feelings, I was only teasing them. So we have to be sensitive to that issue of some kids, we do not know where they are coming from, we don’t know what their life is like in school or even at home. They might get off the bus, walk home and the whole walk home, they might be getting picked on by 3 or 4 boys or 3 or 4 girls and it can be a very troubling time for younger child.
Mark: Boy basically is a way at intimidating people, verbally abusing someone, or physically harming some, really really intimidating. This happens over and over again. It’s interesting that usually older teenagers pick on younger teenagers and they receive pleasure from this because I think they use that as way of building themselves up. They pick on the weaker ones, those who beg and intimidate over and over again. It’s not a good way. Bullies like to join other people. They like to get other people involved, and say let’s gang together and let’s bully these other people or this other person. And they seek pleasure in that. And that’s terrible terrible thing.
What are bullies like?
Jason: Both boys and girls bully other people. Boys tend to act physical than girls. Girls start rumors and they bully through more verbal communication and gossip. Bullies come out of dysfunctional homes, abusive situations; bullies try to build up their poor self esteem by hurting others and causing a lot of pain to the other person. They’re usually angry, they have a low self esteem, and they like to control the other people.
With my experience, I’ve two pre teen daughters, I’ve realized that, cause I grew up with a brother and mate mainly with boy cousins, girls can be a lot more vacuous (lack of thought) when it comes to bullying. As boys growing up we would fight and we’d be done with it, and girls I’ve noticed, they really go on each other’s throat pretty bad. It’s definitely both sides of boys and girls, they really have a lot of issues with this.
Mark: Bullying also could be with governments, social groups, for instance, according to Fox news Christians are the most persecuted group in the world for a 2nd year in a row, Christians continue to be the most persecuted group, 90,000 killed for their beliefs worldwide last year, and nearly a 3rd at the hands of Islamic terrorist groups like ISIS. 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith in 2016, groups of people bully others, and some groups are preventing a few people who believe in traditional marriage between man and a woman.
Jason: Acts 12: 1 talks about King Herod how he bullied and harassed the church when they were just trying to preach the gospel. He became jealous, he wanted to build himself up, bullied the Christian community back then.
Mark: Cyberbullying is bullying using electronic media to intimidate, because of these communication tools that we have, more and more students are being bullied, it’s one of the fastest types of bullying that’s growing in the world. A person will go online and say things about another person using pictures, and spreading rumors and falsehoods, about that particular person. That’s devastating. Social media has increased this 10 fold. Cyber bullying is not going to stop.
Jason: The dangerous part of that is, it’s growing up. In the 80s 90s when I grew up, there were never cellphones, no Internet, no Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram. These kids, they get bullied all day long. At school, as soon as they get off the bus, they get home and get attacked at the social media sites, most dangerous part of this is, the parents don’t even see this happening. They can’t even help their children, as they do not see this happening. It’s a very dangerous issue. There was an 8 year old boy that got picked on, his girl friend broke up with him, he ended up hanging himself because of this, and it’s a bad issue with cyber bullying.
How can We Help Prevent Bullying at School?
Jason: School is the place where most bullying takes place; biggest thing is most kids are afraid to tell about the person who’s bullying them. They’re scared they’re gonna get attacked outside of the school. We gotta teach our kids, they need to stand up and not be afraid to tell someone and try to diffuse the situation when it happens, tell a teacher, if the teacher’s not listening, go 1 step higher, go the principal, tell the guidance counselor, these are some steps to stop bullying, though we’re not going to prevent it altogether but get that kid to not be as harassed as much, get to teach our children to find out someone who will listen to you.
Parents have to have to communication open with their kids, they need talk about this just like they talk to them about drug use or sex outside marriage, talk to them about bullying which is a real issue, it’s something you think you do not need to talk them as much, but it’s definitely as issue. So keep that communication open, parents get to know your children’s’ friends, know who they are, be online, be friends with them on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, I believe no child should have access to social media without the parent knowing their passwords, you should have access to see what they are posting, what they are putting on there. Those are things that prevent bullying.
Differences between Teasing and Bullying.
Mark: We tease one another, because we like them, be friends with them, I always tell kids all the time I’m not tired of being teased, if they stop teasing you’ll be concerned because, when they like somebody they tease them sometimes. But teasing can’t get under your skin, when teasing takes place in terms of some harassment, it turns into putting someone down, which actually turns out to be bullying. Teach your child that a person trying to tease you is actually striving to be your friend and teach your child teasing is not necessarily a bad thing. My dad used to say don’t let them ‘get your goat’ meaning, if they know that it bothers you, they’ll continue teasing you. But if it’s a bullying situation, it’s a little more serious.
Signs of a Bullied Victim
Jason: Kids are so peer oriented, sometimes they remain silent for a long period of time, for they don’t say thing. Then as we talked about that a few minutes ago, have that communication with your students, if you see them sleeping in, if you see them not wanting to go out or do anything, these could be signs of depression, their self esteem is just shot. Kids are cool, kids they’ll rip a person apart just for no reason, we have to make sure that we’re constantly building our children up and we create their self image, we create their self esteem, not only through our communication but through the Bible.
Teach them that God loves them, no matter what, he loves you, he created you in his image, and you are perfect in his eyes.
How can we Help Children Deal with Bullying?
Mark: Help your child with some basic principles concerning relationships, Ephesians 4: 32 says be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as Christ forgave you, your child is to know that early on that forgiveness is essential to the Christian. If you’re a parent listening right now, I believe, it’s our duty to teach our kids to forgive, when they’re being bullied, and being hurt in those ways. You can help them.
Bullying can have a very negative effect on the psychologies of kids and teenagers. Parents have an important role to play in the lives of Children who are being bullied in several different places and in several situations. Parents need have a clear understanding of how to deal with the kids and teens when they are growing.
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