What is bullying?
Bullying is intentional, negative and aggressive behavior that is repeated over time and exists in a relationship where one person has a hard time defending himself/ herself.
What are the different forms of bullying?
Bullying may be physical (hitting, kicking, pushing), verbal (taunting, malicious teasing, name calling, threatening), or psychological (spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, or promoting social exclusion, extortion or intimidation).
Which actions actually qualify as bullying?
Any action that occurs repeatedly and made with the intent of hurting and demeaning others less powerful than the persons committing that action qualifies as bullying. It may be direct – open attacks involving face to face confrontation, or indirect – concealed and subtle acts of malice. Social exclusion or isolation; hitting, tripping, shoving or snatching; saying mean and derogatory things about others, circulating lies and false rumors; having money or other things taken or damaged; threatening or forcing others to do things, demeaning or taunting individuals who are different or less able, making inappropriate sexual remarks or advances, putting someone in a spot leading to embarrassment, and so on are examples of bullying.
How is bullying different from random or provoked aggression?
Bullying is intentionally targeted towards one individual, is repetitive in nature (not a onetime event); and occurs without reasoning and purpose, merely as a way to exert power over weak others.
What leads to bullying?
‘One rule fits all’ does not apply to bullying. Personality characteristics and a student’s tendency toward aggressive behaviors combined with environmental factors such as attitudes, routines, and behaviors of important adults and peers play a major role in determining whether bullying will occur in a classroom or a school.
Why Do Some Students Bully?
Research suggests there are several partly interrelated motives for bullying, such as:
- Strong need for power and (negative) dominance among students who bully;
- Students who bully find satisfaction in causing injury and suffering to other students.
- They may have witnessed aggression or conflict in the home environment creating hostility within the student.
- Students who bully may often be rewarded in some way (money forced out of victim, attention, status, power and prestige) for their behavior.
- Students who bully often come from broken families where parents lack warmth and positive involvement and may display “power-assertive” methods of child rearing.
- The peer group may also play an important role in motivating and encouraging bullying behavior in certain children and youth.
How common is bullying?
Bullying is extensively prevalent among school going adolescents. Almost one in three students (32%) has been bullied by their peers at school at least once. As many as 42% of students of Class 4 to 8 and 36% of Class 9 to 12 are subjected to harassment or bullying by peers in school campuses.
Is bullying all that harmful?
Yes, bullying is extremely harmful. Even a tiny action which occurred as a simplistic joke can lead to an emotional and psychological setback for the person who has been at its centre. Bullying has long lasting impact on individuals
What are the consequences of school bullying?
Consequences for the victim: Students who are bullied experience negative emotions. Fear, anger, frustration, and anxiety may lead to ongoing illness, mood swings, withdrawal from friends and family, an inability to concentrate, and loss of interest in school. They may lose confidence and intermittently feel guilty for being bullied. They may be afraid to go to school, play on the ground or ride the school bus. In worst cases, if left unattended, they may resort to suicide or retaliatory and violent behaviours. Also, bullying negatively affects students’ ability to learn and achieve in school.
Consequences for the bully: Without support or intervention, students who bully will continue to bully and may engage in other types of antisocial behavior and crime. They are less likely to be trusted and may be seen as mean and manipulative. Some acts of bullying result in suspension or expulsion of students and translate into child abuse and domestic violence in adulthood.
Consequences for the bystander:Students who passively watch someone be bullied may come to believe that the behavior is acceptable and that the adults at school either do not care enough or are powerless to stop it. Some students may join in with the bully; others who share common traits with the target may fear they will become the next target.
Why is bullying sometimes hard for adults to detect?
Bullying can be subtle and hard to detect as it often takes place in areas that are not well supervised by adults, and also because many children do not report it out of fear of retaliation and/or punishment. This makes it difficult for teachers and responsible adults to keep tab over negative aggressive behaviours of students.
What practices can school authorities follow to prevent bullying?
- Take immediate action when bullying is observed.
- Respond in a timely manner to all reports of bullying.
- Provide protection for students who are bullied.
- Establish support programs and resources for both the target and bully.
- Develop policies that define bullying and provide appropriate responses to the problem.
- Apply school rules, policies, and sanctions fairly and consistently.
- Establish an effective system for reporting bullying, including adults who can be relied on to respond responsibly and sensitively.
- Teach parents to understand bullying and its consequences.
- Partner with law enforcement and mental health agencies to identify and address cases of serious bullying.
- Promote the norm for a bully-free school throughout the entire school community.
What can students do to prevent the menace of bullying?
- Report bullying to a responsible and caring adult.
- Express disapproval by not joining in the laughter, teasing, or gossip.
- Campaign against bullying through school activities (school newsletter, the student handbook, school calendar, poster contests, a ‘student watch’ program, plays and productions, or suggestion boxes for safe, anonymous reporting).
What can parents do about school bullying?
- Parents should be involved and proactive in their children’s lives, reinforcing respectful behavior by being a role model to their kids.
- Teach their ward that bullying is disrespectful and dangerous.
- A lifetime of consequences may follow both the victim and the bully.
- Parents should remain vigilant and understand the consequences of bullying.
- Be aware and look for subtle changes in the child’s behaviours. Communicate concern and unconditional love to gain their trust.
- Report bullying to the school immediately and ask for and accept help from the school whether their child is the bully, the victim, or a witness.
What is Cyber bullying or online bullying?
Cyber bullying is deliberate and involves recurring harm inflicted through electronic text or media. Cyber bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. It may also include threats, "putdowns" or hate-motivated speech, publishing personal contact information of their victims or uploading nasty pictures which lead to social media gossip and humiliation for the victim, creating fake profiles and publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them.
What can parents do to promote safe use of the Internet?
- Keep your child's computer in an open area of the house.
- Install filtering software or child-friendly search engines on the computer your child uses.
- Instruct your child to never give out personal information online to someone they do not know.
- Instruct your child to never meet in person with someone they first meet online.
- Make sure your children know they should not respond to offensive or dangerous emails.
- Encourage your child to follow three simple steps: Stop, Block, and Tell.
- Spend some time familiarizing yourself with your child's online world.
- Be a responsible cyber citizen.
- Build confidence in your child so that they share or report anything that is inappropriate or makes them uncomfortable.
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