Recognising a bully
Bullies need to feel control and power over others and sometimes lack empathy for their victims. They are defiant, confronting adults, antisocial, and tend to break school rules.
Exposure to violence may have many consequences, like: loneliness, depression, sadness, intimidation, uncertainty, low self-confidence, even sickness, present throughout life. Findings show that victims of bullying at school are more depressed at the age of twenty than those who were not victimised by bullying.
It is important to emphasise that, if bullies do not change and stop bullying, they also suffer from long-term consequences of such behaviour. Studies have found that bullying during school years is related to criminal behaviour in later life.
Witnessing violent behaviours and threatening at school can result in higher risk of tolerance for bullying, or aggressive behaviour in the future.
Parents can do a lot to help their child victim of bullying. They should know that their child is not guilty for feeling threatened. In some situations children can themselves cope with threatening and violent behaviour, but adults’ help and their inclusion is often necessary. Majority of children grow up in non-violent circumstances. They are not used to such behaviours and are not able to deal with them nor can they apply some strategies to prevent intimidation. Children who complain to their parents expect help and should not be told not to pay attention to being threatened.
If you suspect that your child is a victim of threatening and violent behaviour, let him/her tell you about what is happening. Do your best to:
If you suspect that your child is a bully, it is important to ask for help immediately, before more severe educational, social, emotional and legal difficulties have occurred. It is important to find out what causes the behaviour and develop a plan of changing it. Talk with the child, his/her paediatrician, school principal, educator, psychologist, special educator, psychiatrist… Violent children may have many reasons for their behaviours: imitating older siblings, parents, relatives, not knowing how to better communicate with other children, have themselves experienced abuse, are under tension due to various stressors…
You can stop violent behaviour: