What Are the Consequences of Bullying in Young Children?
Bullying is a serious problem prevalent in school-aged children. Unfortunately, the behaviour has become so common that most people no longer see it as a big deal. A recent survey showed that at least 35% of people experienced some form of bullying when they were young. Most people have the preconceived idea that bullying is all about physical harm. But this is not the case. Bullying extends to mental and emotional distress inflicted upon a person.
The effects of bullying can be detrimental often with devastating short-term and long-term impacts on the physical, social, and emotional wellbeing of a child. Bullying does not only affect the one being bullied but also the bully and the children bystanders who witness the act. However, most of the impacts are felt by the bullied party.
Bullying in young children has been directly linked to low self-esteem. Kids who are bullied continuously find it hard to socialize, create, or maintain relationships. They have all the negative things said about them buried deep inside them. If a child is constantly called ugly or fat, they eventually begin to believe the things said to them are true.
Bullying victims may also experience a range of imbalanced emotional behaviours. They may constantly feel angry, frustrated, bitter, worthless, and helpless. Often times, these feelings may be overwhelming, and the kids may end up coming up excuses for not attending school or classes to avoid confrontation with their bullies. Bullied kids also find it hard to concentrate and focus on their academics, which is often reflected in their falling grades.
Alongside physical harm, bullied kids suffer from anxiety. If bullying extends, the child is exposed to stress for such a long time that they risk falling into a depression. The kid may also develop health issues such as ulcers or aggravate existing conditions such as eczema, heart conditions, and mental illnesses.
In a quest to defend themselves, bullied kids may develop a violent character. Such kids are twice more likely to carry weapons with them to school to defend themselves against their bullies. They may also get easily agitated and get defensive on the smallest confrontation even out of the school. When they can’t absorb any more, these kids may consider harming themselves or commit suicide as an alternative to their pain.
To avoid these consequences, teachers, parents, and guardians should take bullying as a serious ordeal. They should take all measures necessary to identify and curb bullying among young children.