At Family Services Windsor-Essex, we provide programs and services to enrich the community we live in by focusing on the needs of the people in it!
What is bullying?
Many children have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves. So, everyone needs to get involved to help stop it.
Bullying is wrong! It is behaviour that makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time. Some of these include:
- - Punching, shoving and other acts that hurt people physically
- - Spreading bad rumours about people
- - Keeping certain people out of a group
- - Teasing people in a mean way
- - Getting certain people to "gang up" on others
The four most common types of bullying are:
Verbal bullying: Name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making negative references to one's culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted sexual comments.
Social Bullying: Mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.
Physical Bullying: Hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted sexual touching.
Cyber Bullying: Using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone.
What are the effects of bullying?
Bullying makes people upset. It can make children feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It can make them feel unsafe and think there must be something wrong with them. Children can lose confidence and may not want to go to school anymore. It may even make them sick. Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. Some of these include:
- - Withdrawal from family and school activities, wanting to be left alone
- . - Shyness
- - Stomachaches
- - Headaches
- - Panic Attacks
- - Not being able to sleep
- - Sleeping too much
- - Being exhausted
- - Nightmares
If bullying isn't stopped, it also hurts the bystanders, as well as the person who bullies others. Bystanders are afraid they could be the next victim. Even if they feel badly for the person being bullied, they avoid getting involved in order to protect themselves or because they aren't sure what to do. Children who learn they can get away with violence and aggression continue to do so in adulthood. They have a higher chance of getting involved in dating aggression, sexual harassment and criminal behaviour later in life.
Bullying can have an effect on learning
Stress and anxiety caused by bullying and harassment can make it more difficult for kids to learn. It can cause difficulty in concentration and decrease their ability to focus, which affects their ability to remember things they have learned.
Bullying can lead to more serious concerns
Bullying is painful and humiliating, and kids who are bullied feel embarrassed, battered and shamed. If the pain is not relieved, bullying can even lead to consideration of suicide or violent behaviour.
How common is bullying?
Approximately one in 10 children have bullied others and as many as 25% of children in grades four to six have been bullied. A 2004 study published in the medical Journal of Pediatrics found that about one in seven Canadian children aged 11 to 16 are victims of bullying. Studies have found bullying occurs once every seven minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom.
In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behaviour. Students are most vulnerable to bullying during transitions from elementary to junior high school, and from junior to senior high school. There is a correlation between increased supervision and decreased bullying. Bullies stop when adults are around.