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What is bullying? Why it happens?

What is bullying?

All children tease or are teased from time to time. It can be fun to play pranks on others… sometimes there is nothing wrong with it. However, it’s no fun for someone to feel hurt, be laughed at, or to be excluded. This is called harassment.

Harassment is a form of aggression and aims to hurt someone. It can hurt physically or mentally. Bullying makes the child unsafe and may suffer from it throughout his or her life.

Bullying at school or in a sports club is common among children and adolescents, even among adults it continues to occur, as does bullying at work or between neighbors.

Being a victim is very unpleasant. One consequence is that you don’t dare to go to school, that you sleep very badly or that you get worse grades. You may also feel embarrassed…. you expect it to stop, but you dare not talk about it with your parents. Bullying can end up causing psychological symptoms such as loneliness, fear of failure and depression.

There are three main characteristics of bullying:

  • The abuser wants to hurt the other person (physically or mentally). So it’s always a conscious action.
  • It takes place over a long period of time, not just once.
  • There is a clear difference in power. The bully has the power.
    The one who is harassed is, for example: less strong, has fewer friends or has a lower social status.

Forms of bullying

There are many different forms of harassment.

Four main ways are listed below:

  1. Physical. For example, they chase you on your way home and hit, kick, or push you.
  2. Verbal. Classmates insult or tease him in the schoolyard, for example.
  3. Social. Others talk about him without him noticing or ignoring him. It is excluded. Social harassment hurts your friendships or your reputation suffers (how others perceive it ).
  4. Cyberbullying. Through the Internet, mainly social networks. For example, a classmate posts a suya photo on Facebook that he is embarrassed or someone makes fun of him in a WhatsApp group.

Why are children with certain characteristics bullied?

Some people have a slightly higher risk of harassment than others. Bullies tend to target people who are less able to stand up for themselves. The bully sees a weak spot. If the bully then reacts violently, the bully knows he has been beaten. This can ensure that you have a new target for your harassment. With social skills, you can become more resilient. Defending yourself means you are strong, a reason for the bully to reduce or stop doing so.

Why do children bully or annoy other children?

A bully wants to have a lot of power over others. It’s not wrong to want to be strong and powerful. However, it seems that children or teenagers who want that, bully more often. They choose a weak victim and feel powerful. This may also be because they are jealous of the other and therefore sink him.

A bully is insecure. With a “tough attitude,” the bully expects to be admired.

A bully wants to belong to a strong group. Children or teenagers who want to belong to a powerful (popular) group seem to bully more.

The third plea only applies to girls. A bully is usually depressed. It seems strange, but bullying can be an expression of frustration and make them feel good. Of course, there are much better ways to feel happy.

How often does harassment occur?

Harassment is very common. Especially bullying. Children have been asked in several studies if they are bullied. The following arrived:

In children between the ages of 9 and 11, it was shown that approximately 1 in 6 is a victim of bullying.

In children between the ages of 11 and 15, it was shown that approximately 1 in 8 is a victim of bullying. It seems to occur frequently in the upper classes of elementary school.

In high school the form of bullying is different. So, it’s more often about social and cyberbullying and no longer about physical and verbal harassment.

Girls and boys are bullied in the same proportion. Bullies are usually more boys. They are more aggressive. They hit, kick, curse and insult more. Of course, this does not apply to all boys since bullying between girls is more psychological. Social harassment is equally common among boys and girls.

Consequences of bullying

The consequences of bullying can be diverse. Therefore, harassment is not always recognizable. The following things may indicate that your child is being bullied:

  • Anxious: may be worried, stressed, or scared
  • Fear of failure: Fear of not doing well at work or school.
  • Depressed: May be apathetic.
  • Physical symptoms: Bedwetting in young children, fatigue, lack of appetite, stomach pain, headache and nausea.
  • Reduction of school performance.
  • Feeling of loneliness or few social contacts.

What to do against bullying?

When you are harassed, it is important that you defend yourself. When you have a more positive self-image, you can better defend yourself from bullies. Therefore, it is important to foster self-confidence. You need to show the bully that you have no power over them. A social skills course can be helpful in facilitating social contacts. At work, it is advisable to seek support or help and not hide harassment. You can also write down things that happen, this is not only air, it can be useful later when you want to recite everything.

When your child is a victim of bullying, it’s wise to talk to them and show them understanding. Your child likes to be seen and heard. Let your child tell what happened. Also, tell the teacher or tutor to see what solutions there are. Together you can look for the best way to protect your child from bullies. Let your child know that bullies are often insecure, and maybe even jealous. After all, your child is very special. You can also choose to go to a psychologist together to reinforce your self-confidence and resilience. A positive family situation and warm family relationships help victims cope better with bullying. Friends can also help process bullying behaviors.


All the information we give you in this article is indicative as each child and each family is different and unique.


Carolina González Ramos

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