It wasn’t too many years ago when a “school yard bully” would eventually get socked-in-the-nose by a victim who wasn’t about to take it anymore. Such an incident would be seen by teachers and parents as part of growing up and would soon be forgotten. The notion of, “Well, he (or she) deserved it,” is no longer acceptable.
Today, the school yard bullies are still there. It’s estimated that 12-to-15 percent of all school age children are victimized by bullies. It’s also estimated that the typical incident is brief, averaging just 37 seconds, but the emotional and psychological damage to those victimized can be permanent. A child can suffer for a long time before the source of his or her torment comes to light.
Bullying most often takes the form of emotional torment, and includes ostracizing, vindictive teasing and threatening. To a youngster, daily verbal assaults, having your possessions destroyed, listening to mocking and/or vulgar remarks about one’s siblings or parents can shatter a young person’s self-esteem.
Victims of psychological bullying can suffer everything from clinical depression to suicidal tendencies, and from complete social withdrawal to overly-aggressive behavior. Statistically, it’s estimated that by age twenty-four, 60 percent of all children who were bullied between grades 6 through 9 have been arrested for criminal behavior.
What can you do? Talk with your kids. Let them know that their home is a safe place where they can ind love and comfort and help from you if they’re being emotionally and psychologically terrorized by a bully. Enlist the aid of the school administrators and counselors to protect your child from the devastating effect that can result from chronic bullying.