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  • Dr. Bill Walker

Stop the Bullying: It Causes Long-Term Harm!



Adults MUST Take Bullying Seriously.

Too often we see bullying as a fact of life that will harmlessly pass. “Sure, it’s no fun”, we tell ourselves, “but kids are tough, they can handle it”.


My Response: Some kids can handle it and some kids cannot. It Depends.

--It depends on the temperament of the child being bullied.

--It depends on the bullied child’s relationship with his/her parents and the emotional

healthiness of their family.

--It depends on the severity and frequency of the bullying.

--It depends on the child’s social support system of peers.

--It depends on a number of important factors.


Do Not toss all bullying into a one size fits all basket. It's too easy to dismiss it when we do.


Bullying Has Changed From When Today's Parents Were Kids.

There is a new kind of bullying in town called cyberbullying. Cyberbullying occurs through social media, which your child accesses on their smartphone.


Cyberbullying is 24/7 – it never stops. Home used to offer a retreat from school and the neighborhood, the places where bullying most often occurred. No longer. Social media never stops and there is no place to hide from it. This allows bullies to make hurtful/untrue comments about your child 24/7.


Through social networks, cyberbullying can be broadcast to untold numbers of people, including complete strangers. These networks allow a person to share hurtful and possibly untrue comments instantly with 100s, 1000’s and even tens of thousands of other people, depending on the social network.


As well, old-fashioned types of bullying are still as prevalent as ever - hitting, shoving, tripping, name-calling, ridiculing, etc. These acts of bullying still hurt like they always have.


Bullying Must Be Stopped Because It Can Have Long-Term Negative Consequences

Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, academic, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience: [1]


*depression and anxiety,

*increased feelings of sadness and loneliness,

*changes in sleep and eating patterns,

*loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.

These issues may persist into adulthood.


Other negative reactions to bullying include:

*physical health complaints

*decreased academic achievement

*decreased school participation. (bullied kids are more likely to miss/skip/drop out of school.


An especially concerning symptom of bullying is increased levels of anger and rage in bullied children. Alarmingly, in 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied. That is 80%. IOWs: In 8 out of every 10 school shootings, the shooter had been bullied at the school. [2]


NO CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO DEAL WITH THESE HARMFUL ISSUES!


Each of us must ask ourselves: What Can I Do To Help Stop Bullying?!

One thing we can all do is TAKE a STAND and SPEAK OUT AGAINST IT


Spiritually Speaking

I write this article from a Christian worldview perspective. God’s Word is clear on how we are to treat others in this world.


The well known Golden Rule of the Bible is DO unto others as you want them to do unto you. (Treat others the way you want to be treated).


Other Teachings from the Scriptures


*Matthew 22:39

"Love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself."

(Our neighbor is anyone we come into contact with).


*Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to 1 another, tenderhearted, forgiving 1 another, even as God in Christ forgave you.


*Colossians. 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.


All of these teachings are the opposite of bullying. If people followed God’s instructions for living and behaving there would be no bullying.



The Bottom Line

Bullying is hurtful behavior and can have long-lasting harmful consequences. Adults are the first line of defense in stopping bullying. We cannot look the other way. Instead:


--Calmly, but firmly call out bullying behavior when you see it.

--Report it to proper authorities (principal, guidance counselor, parents, etc) if warranted.

--Most importantly, offer empathy and support to children who are the victims of bullying.



For the Family,

dr. bill walker


www.mightyfamily.org



Article References:

[1] https://www.stopbullying.gov/bullying/effects

[2] https://www.livescience.com/53034-childhood-bullying-lasting-mental-health-effects.html


Helpful Resources:

https://www.stopbullying.gov/


*Safety.com has created an anti-bullying guide designed specifically for children, including fun activities and scenario-based questions :


https://www.safety.com/anti-bullying-guide/




Before You Go


Thank you for reading this article.


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© 2017 by IFP