Even though you are now a parent, we’ve all been there. This might have happened in grade school, middle school or event high school, but many of us have probably been a victim of bullying.
Whether it was on the playground, where one girl grabs another’s hair and yanks her backwards off the swing. Another time, could have been in the lunchroom, where “the mean kid” smacks down a smaller boy’s tray, spilling his food. Worse yet, what about this happening in the the classroom, where a group of kids repeatedly taunt the youngest child in the class. In related articles on the No Bullying website, these incidents are more common that we think.
From the vantage point of adulthood, bullying is mean-spirited and pointless, but it is unfortunately a regular part of childhood. (Indeed, even some adults haven’t grown out of the habit of belittling others and pushing them around.) Luckily, bullying has finally entered the media spotlight, and the public outcry is forcing parents, teachers, administrators and policy-makers to step up to the plate and do something.
As with any public discourse, this inevitably means confusion, misunderstanding and misconception on the part of listeners. Oftentimes, when the topic of bullying crops up, people have more questions than answers. This paper will seek to clear up the confusion and correct the misunderstandings and misconceptions that have arisen about bullying, both recently and in the past.
We will start with a definition of bullying and a look at where it occurs and who is usually victimized. From there, we will take a closer look at who, exactly, is affected when bullying occurs (spoiler alert: it isn’t just the victim) as well as the psychological impacts that can and do occur as a result. We will assess some of the common misconceptions and endeavor to separate fact from myth. Lastly, we will wrap up with an overview of what is currently being done about bullying and some ideas for how to help.