Is your child being bullied?

Bullying is aggressive behaviour that stems from a mindset of perceived or real power imbalance between the bullied and the bully.

The stereotype of the typical bully is one who has an advantage over the bullied in terms of power, age, strength or knowledge of embarrassing details, popularity and a perceived sense of invincibility.

Due to the alarming concern of social ills, communications officer, W/O Radhika Marimuthu, advised that breaking the silence is the first step to stop a bully.

If a person is being bullied, they must remember that there is help out there. One should immediately report the bully to a teacher, parent, grandparent, elder sibling or someone they can trust. The most important thing is to seek help and let the bully know that you are not alone.

Encourage the child being bullied to remember all the wonderful attributes about him/ herself. Once a bully knows that he /she has been reported, he /she will not be so brazen to seek you out.  The bully, more often than not, has his own emotional issues to deal with.

Reporting the bully can also assist other victims of the bully. Speaking out helps and shines the light on the bully, forcing him to review his behaviour.

Bullying is most often repetitive and targets the same category. Bullying stems from a sense of insecurity on some level and has enduring effects for both the bully and the bullied person. Factors in the home environment where the bully is the victim can make he /she act out in the external environment.

“Bullying can take the form of physical aggression, verbal harshness, or relationship bullying which includes name calling, insulting, teasing and taunting. Bullying can have a detrimental impact on the bullied person’s state of mind which negatively impacts on their physical health. A victim normally lives in fear of the bully wondering when he will strike next,” added W/O Radhika.

The following tips were provided by W/O Marimuthu with regards to bullying:

  • If you are being bullied, remember that your safety is most important.
  • Try and get away from the situation safely.
  • Avoid walking alone in corridors and always try to walk in groups even after school.
  • Try and get your parent or elder sibling to wait for you after school and drop off at school or extracurricular activities.
  • Parents must have an open network with their children as bullying impacts on behaviour.
  • If parents and teachers sense withdrawal or behavioural changes in a child, they should very tactfully prompt the reason thereof and investigate the situation.
  • Children must know that support system exists and is open to them not only for bullying, but for every other issue that plagues them.




Yoshini Perumal

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