Bullying at School - Tips For Parents

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About Bullying behavior

The murder of a schoolboy, Abhishek Tyagi by his classmates in the Euro International School in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, on 11 December 2007, shook a nation that was hitherto complacent about the lethal aspects of the bullying menace. Apart from the extensive media coverage, there were heated debates among parents, teachers, children and the general public. The alleged reason for Tyagi’s murder by his schoolmates in the school corridor: Tyagi was a bully.


Might is not always right

Having a fight in school may be part of growing up, but it takes an ugly turn when it assumes serious proportions. Bullying can happen anywhere when human beings interact with each other.

Schools and play areas make excellent breeding grounds for bullying in the case of children. Parents can contribute in a great way to put an end to this worldwide menace. They need to be aware that this is happening and keep constantly honing their parental skills to deal effectively with their bullying /bullied children. They can work in collaboration with school authorities, counselors and psychologists and involve the child’s siblings, if any, to instill firmly in the child’s mind that might is not always right.

Bullying behavior

A bullying tendency that is left unchecked in the earlier years of life, escalates to typical bullying behavior that includes being intentionally hurting, verbally abusive, mocking, threatening, extorting, ridiculing about appearance or lack of talent, all of which can cause considerable damage to the victim at the physical, psychological and emotional levels. Most bullies find it difficult to toe the line after the initial bout of success while teasing an unfortunate victim.

Fatal Bullying

Bullying can sometimes have violent consequences when the victims are driven to taking a gun in hand. On 24 January 1989, two students were fatally shot down by a fourteen-year-old student who claimed to be a victim of bullying at the Raumanmeri secondary school in Rauma, Finland. Brian Head, a teenaged student from Georgia, shot himself dead in his economics classroom on March 26,1994, allegedly a target of bullies because of his weight and thick glasses. Eyewitnesses said, Brian’s last words before killing himself were, “I’m tired of it.” Brian’s father lobbied hard for the enactment of a law for criminalizing bullying and for schools to alert parents of bullied children.

Child bully now, adult bully next

Research has linked bullies to aggressive personalities. They are most often authoritarian with an urge to control or dominate others. Envy and resentment are also known motives for bullying. A bullying tendency has the danger of mutating as the child grows into an adult and begins to be controlling and manipulative in relationships.

Aggression is not assertion

Most parents are unable to differentiate between an assertive child and an aggressive child. In their desire to see their children become independent and capable of fending for themselves, parents fail to notice when assertion becomes aggression. On 29 January 1979 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer carried out a shooting spree in Cleveland Elementary school, San Diego, California, with a .22 rifle that her dad had gifted her, wounding 8 children, a police officer and killing 2 adults, one of whom was the school principal. She did it to liven up the day, because, “I don’t like Mondays,” she said. Her infamous statement prompted a song by Bob Geldof that topped UK charts and was even performed later by the likes of Bon Jovi.


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Bullying must be stopped in our schools. The long term effects of children who were bullied is well documented and this is taking a whole new spin with the advent of cyberbullying. Finding the cause of bullying is essential to understanding why children bully and how to best prevent it.
EIEducation Wednesday, April 18, 2012

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