Not too many things can make such a dreadful impact on children like bullying. It's one of the worst and most traumatic experiences in the life of a young victim and we all have a duty to react as soon as we notice a bullying incident.
No matter what you do or who you are – a teacher, a parent, a friend, or simply a person walking by – you have to try to prevent aggressive behavior and support a child who underwent bullying. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Bullies can hide their behavior very well, while most victims are afraid of complaining to their parents or school teachers.
It doesn't mean, however, that it's impossible to recognize harassment. We can give you a number of practical suggestions on how to deal with it, so keep reading to learn how to help a bullying victim.
Bullying: Definition, Stats, Types
As one of the most horrible and shocking childhood experiences, bullying has to be taken seriously. It means you should learn everything about it in order to prepare and respond to it in a timely manner. This is why we want to begin the analysis with the concept itself.
By definition, bullying represents an unwanted and aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Such behavior is repetitive and tends to strengthen the abovementioned imbalance of power between the bully and his victim.
Although most people don't think or don't want to talk about it, bullying everything but uncommon:
- More than 20% of students report being bullied, but less than a half actually reported an incident.
- Over 160 thousand kids in the US refuse to go to school each day for fear of being bullied.
Lots of reports prove the danger of bullying, but this is more than enough to get a general idea. Jake Gardner, a member of the best essay writing services who specializes in psychology, says there are four basic types of bullying among school children:
- Social bullying: This happens when a student is spreading rumors, embarrassing, or isolating a peer in school.
- Verbal bullying: Repeated cases of teasing, calling names, telling mean words, and taunting represent social bullying.
- Physical bullying: This type of bullying includes all sorts of actions – hitting, punching, breaking stuff, spitting, and many more.
- Cyber bullying: It's a relatively new form of bullying, but it is getting more common year after year. Kids can easily harass other children via social media platforms, chatting communities, emails, etc.
How to recognize the victim of bullying
Now that you understand the concept of bullying and all of its types, you need to figure out how to recognize it in everyday life. Namely, a vast majority of victims will never say anything about it to their friends, family, or teachers.
They avoid telling anyone because they are too shy or embarrassed to admit it. Bullying makes kids feel alone and helpless, but they still prefer trying to regain control single-handedly. At the same time, bullying represents a humiliating experience and no child is ready to talk about it freely and openly.
Another reason why victims keep quiet is the fact that they feel alienated and isolated, so they start thinking that no one really cares about them. These and many other details distract people and make them incapable of identifying a child who underwent bullying.
However, this can never be an excuse for not paying attention. There are lots of signs that you can follow and realize that the child is being harassed. Some of the usual suspects include the following:
- Strange and unexpected injuries: If you notice a strange or unusual injury, then you can start thinking about bullying. This is particularly the case with kids who cannot explain clearly what happened and how they got hurt.
- Physical symptoms: Victims of bullying often feel physical symptoms or at least fake illnesses. If doctors can't find an explanation, perhaps the cause is not physical.
- Behavioral changes: Almost every victim of bullying changes behavior sooner or later. They have trouble falling asleep, experience nightmares, lose weight, cry frequently, and similar.
- Problems in school: They can also lose interest in studying. You can tell it by their grades, lack of enthusiasm, and absence from school.
- Depression: Of course, kids who suffer are often depressed and antisocial. They don't care about friends and avoid social gatherings. They feel hopeless and lack self-confidence.
- Losing things: Sometimes you will notice that the kid is losing a lot of things such as books or clothes. This actually happens because bullies steal victims' stuff, throw it away, or destroy it.
How to help the victim of bullying
Now you know how to recognize bullying, so the only thing left is to learn how to support the victim when you see one. The main rule is to act quickly but delicately because you don't want to add more pressure to the victim.
Keep in mind that each case is different, but we can give you five recommendations that work well in most situations. Let's check them out:
- Report the case: The basic rule is to report the case to school authorities immediately. Don't take the law into your own hands but rather leave it to professionals who are already familiar with such cases.
- Talk with the victim: A victim of bullying needs support and affection, so you better try to approach the kid and talk with him/her. Give them encouragement and explain that it's not the end of the world.
- Stay positive: A victim of bullying has to see that you are taking things seriously. Show this child that you are convinced that things will change and stay positive all the way throughout the process. Don't let anything interfere with your determination to help and support the victim.
- Tell them about celebrities who experienced bullying: Another excellent advice is to tell the victim about celebrities who also experienced bullying when they were young. Children always look for role models and this is a great opportunity to show how some individuals got over bullying successfully. Many famous people used to be victims of bullying, including the likes of Christian Bale, Megan Fox, and Rihanna.
- Ask for professional support: Students who want to get their assignments done perfectly look for professional writer services like Rushmyessa. The same logic applies to bullying victims – you can help them to find expert psychologists who know how to treat them kindly and professionally.