Bullying is not an easy topic to discuss but it necessary because ADULTS can be bullied too! So the knowledge of how to manage a bullying situation never becomes obsolete.
We must be aware of because the statistics of bullying all over the world is really dire.
In the US, 1 in every 4 children report being bullied during the school year!
At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently.
In Nigeria, no clear national statistics but for research done in specific regions, it is on a sky high of 80 to 90% of school children and it is particularly worse in boarding schools.
Though none is better than the other, understanding what they are will help us identify if our children are facing any of these types of bullying at any time so we can address it immediately.
The first one is Physical Bullying and usually this is the mental picture that comes to one's mind when we think about "Bullying".
Though this menace is still happening, the incidence is much lower than previous years because it is easier to spot that a child is being bullied because of the physical evidence of bruises and wounds. Secondly, a lot of schools around the world have a system set up to supervise play time or recess
May God secure our children daily in Jesus's name!
Cyberbullying is another type of bullying that has crept into statistics with the advent of technology. Some people now use their digital devices as "weapons" to hurt other people and in some cases destroy their online reputation.
In the Future of work, your "online reputation" matters so much! Not only for job interviews or immigration (which is now a must I must say) but even for business opportunities, to participate in certain events or to be supported by a brand.
⭐Interesting fact - some bookshops that agreed to stock my book actually wanted to know my social media handle to get a sense of who I am😀. Call it unnecessary but you can often "guess" the kind of person someone is from how they represent themselves on social media.
The statistics of the mental health implications of cyberbullying especially on teenagers is not palatable at all and we must prepare our children with the right knowledge on the use of social media. Children must understand early that the social media world is a world they need to tread carefully on and use it strictly as a tool.
Social Bullying can be hard to spot because most discussions are happening behind the bullied child's back.
In most cases, it is one person in particular that instigates the others because of an unfounded reason or a personal encounter with the victim. I heard of a case that the gang up of social alienation was because the victim was assumed to be a teacher's favourite. Can you imagine? 🤷♀️
Social Bullying is an issue to be delicately managed in order for this not to lead to further mental harm of the child.
We need wisdom, loads of it which thankfully God provides freely to all who ask to deal with these delicate situations! May God help us all and exempt our children from unpleasant situation.
Verbal Bullying is on the rise. It is now the MOST common type of bullying.
Research shows that the most commonly reported type of bullying is verbal bullying (79%), followed by social bullying (50%), physical bullying (29%), and cyberbullying (25%).
It is not as immediately obvious as physical bullying but its long term effects can be detrimental to a child's self esteem and mental health if not handled correctly.
Like someone said, Fractures heal eventually, but verbal bullying can affect a person’s life for years. I guess the reason is not far fetched, WORDS have power to give life or otherwise. Unlike social bullying where all the negativity happens behind the person's back, Verbal Bullying is BOLD.
It is an attack of words of some sort and it is relentless in it's ability to steal a child joy. Is your child's confidence suddenly dipping or has he or she lost interest in school?
You need to ask questions and ensure you watch for signs of evasiveness so you can help deal with the issue appropraitely.
Tips for Parents to address a Social Bullying situation:
1. Raise your children to feel confident to say “No” to invitations that go against the values you brought them up with even if they will have to stand alone.
2. Do what you must to address the situation immediately.
3. Repair the damage it may have done to the child through counselling and most importantly, prayer and daily affirmations.
🛑Please and please avoid the temptation to approach the bully directly unless it is outside the school or the bully is an adult. Involve the school/legal/security authorities depending on the gravity and ensure the issue is addressed.
🛑Most important of all, Forgive and Pray for the Bully and encourage your child to do the same. Very difficult sometimes but possible.
🛑Remember, Forgiveness is more beneficial for the offended and this process will protect your child's mental health and help him or her heal faster!
As parents, keeping communication lines open and modeling confident and respectful behaviour will continue to be a gamechanger for our children to either deal with a bullying situations or to avoid disrespecting another child. Do you have any other suggestions. Please comment and let us all learn!