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Let's Expand Your Knowledge on Bullying

Mar 5, 2008
There are many common misconceptions about bullying. Thinking that bullying is a normal part of childhood and the victims should just toughen up is perhaps the most stereotypical view of bullying and the biggest bullying misconception. Thinking this way can have serious consequences for both victims and bullies. Bullying should not be tolerated and letting a bully continue picking on others just reinforces their behavior and sets them up to continue making poor choices for the rest of their lives. Bullying victims can also suffer from low self esteem, depression, and a poor self image.

Any child can be the victim of bullying, but some types of students are more likely than others to be targeted. Any child that is different whether it is race, ethnicity, religion, physical limitations or mental limitations is at a higher risk of being bullied. Bullying is more common among boys than girls and is more likely to be physical. It is common for bullying among girls to be emotional and based on what children say about each other. Bullying can take place anywhere that children interact, including on the computer and over the phone.

One bullying misconception is that bullies have low self esteem. Many bullies are popular and are very confident. Bullies are not the unconfident kids trying to make up for their problems like people once assumed. Bullying may actually be a way that kids try to dominate others and assert their power. Children who bully often act in conjunction with their friends and use bullying as a way to fit in with them. Children who have friends and like to be in control will bully others as a way to assert their power and impress their fiends, albeit in the wrong way.

Many people think that remarks made with bullying most commonly target intelligence and are meant to demean a person. Studies suggest, however, that the most common insults used while bullying are about a kid's perceived sexual orientation. As ridiculous as it sounds, this is the most common thing kids tease each other about. Finding socially unacceptable faults such as these make some children easier targets for bullying. There are many bullying misconceptions and truly understanding what bullying is will help to stop and prevent it.

Because bullies like to pick on children who are not confident, a good way to prevent bullying is to get your child involved in activities that boost their confidence. Children who have other areas of their life to feel confident in will carry over that attitude into situations where they can be bullied. Any enjoyable activity that your child excels at will help to make them more confident and in turn that confidence will help prevent bullying. If your child has confidence and self esteem, it will be easier for them to ignore a bully and not let the bully's actions bother them.

Bullies who are not stopped early can suffer from long term effects. A bully who is never taught appropriate ways to deal with their problems will most likely continue being aggressive and bullying others into their adult life. Bullies are also more likely to commit crimes and be involved in illegal activity when they get older. Bullies will often have a hard time making friends and maintain friendships as the friends who support bullying are not quality relationships to be in. Bullies may never learn how to effectively problem solve if they are given other ways to respond when the bullying problem first arises.
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