When Teasing Becomes Bullying
Young children who gain knowledge of these coping skills at an early age may be better equipped for more considerable social challenges and conflicts in their preteen and teenage years. When Teasing Becomes Bullying Almost every child will tease. However, it is not always as innocent as it seems. Words and phrases can cause serious mental damage to a young child. According to Froschl (2006), teasing becomes bullying when it is monotonous and/or when there is a conscious objective to hurt another child. Bullying comprises an assortment of behaviors, all of which result in a disproportion of control among children.
It can be (1) Verbal: making threats, name-calling. (2) Psychological: excluding children, spreading rumors. (3) Physical: hitting, pushing, and taking a child’s possessions. With females, bullying is often subtle and roundabout. According to Simmons (2006), instead of snatching a toy from another child, a young female might say, “Give me that toy or I won’t be your friend anymore. ” Older females can be mean without saying a word: by telling other females not to be friends with a particular female, giving her the silent treatment, rolling their eyes in class, or making rude noises.
Sometimes, says Simmons, females make a hurtful remark and then pretend they didn’t mean it by saying “just kidding. ” Males, on the other hand, tend to be more physical. Males push each other or take someone’s sneaker and put it in the garbage. However, unlike females, males do not hold grudges. One male can do something really mean to another male and then later the same day they will be pals again, according to Froschl (2006). Bullying behavior is ubiquitous throughout the world and it cuts across socio-economic, acial/ethnic and cultural lines. Researchers estimate that 20 to 30 percent of school-age children are involved in bullying incidents, as either perpetrators or victims, according to James Garbarino (2007). Bullying can initiate as early as preschool and strengthen during transitional stages, such as starting school in first grade or going into middle school. Bullying is a learned behavior. Most children learn bullying from older children, from adults, and from television. For example, why are you always late and or why can’t you act your age?
If children experience put-downs, physical punishment at home and/or in school, and emotional and psychological abuse go uncontested, they believe this behavior is acceptable. It is a known fact that bullies like to feel in control. They are insensitive to the feelings of others and defiant toward adults. If your child is the victim of a bully, they may suffer physically and emotionally, and their schoolwork will likely show it. Victims of bullying often have trouble concentrating, says Simmons (2006).
Grades drop because, instead of listening to the teacher, they are wondering what they did wrong and whether anyone will sit with them at lunch. If bullying persists, they may be afraid to go to school. Problems with low self-esteem and depression can last into adulthood and interfere with personal and professional lives. Teasing and bullying produce a classroom ambiance that affects children’s aptitude to gain knowledge and teachers’ capability to educate, says Froschl (2006). Children who are not directly involved can be distraught. Children who see bullying can be as traumatized as the victims because they fear becoming victims themselves.
They feel guilty for not doing something to help, according to James Garbarino (2007). Successful intervention programs have been created to decrease bullying and/or aggressive behavior in schools. According to 4 Girls Health, (2008) researchers found that bullying and/or aggressive behavior is expected to occur in schools where there is a lack of adult supervision during breaks, where teachers and students are unresponsive to or accept bullying and/or aggressive behavior, and where rules against bullying are not consistently enforced.
While approaches to eliminate individual bullying and/or aggressive behavior are not often effective, when there is a school-wide commitment to end bullying and/or aggressive behavior, it can be reduced by up to 50%, according to Ravoira (1999). One approach that has been effective focuses on changing the school and the classroom environment by doing the following. (1) Raising awareness about bullying and/or aggressive behavior. (2) Increasing teacher and parent involvement and supervision, forming clear rules and strong social norms against bullying and/or aggressive behavior. 3) Providing support and protection for all students. This approach comprise teachers, principals, students, and everyone associated with the school, including janitors, cafeteria workers, and crossing guards. Adults become aware of the extent of bullying at the school, and they involve themselves in changing the situation, rather than looking the other way. References 4 Girls Health. (2008) Retrieved February 5, 2009, from http:// www. 4girls. gov. Froschl, M. , Mullin-Rindler, N. Sprung, B. (2006). Anti-Bullying and Teasing Book: For Preschool Classrooms. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gryphon House. Garbarino, James. (2007). Bullies to Buddies. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from http://www. bullies2buddies. com. Ravoira, LaWanda. (1999). National Girls’ Caucus. Retrieved February 5, 2009, from http:// www. hardygirlshealthywomen. org. Simmons, Rachel. (2006). Odd Girl Out: The Hidden Culture of Aggression in Girls. Fort Washington, PA: Harvest Books.