We’ve all been bullied at school at one point or another. Maybe it was just a flash comment on how we look or said something in the class. Or it was year-long torture from someone mean. Either way, we must remember the helplessness we experience when the bully seemingly had control over our lives. And I am sorry to say that even today, bullying persists. More so in public schools. For the bullied teen, the school would appear mortifying, and they would rather stay home and lose their education than go to school in fear of what’s gonna happen that day. As parents, we must know all the detrimental effects teen bullying has on the teen. Maybe your child is the bully or the bullied. So it doesn’t hurt to know this, and you can intervene before things take a turn for the worse
Serious Effects Bullying Has on the Bullied:
Though the psychological effects of bullying stay with us for longer periods than the physical ones, it is the physical one that is immediate and scares us the most. A bully may trip us as we walk through the aisle to our class or upend the food tray we carry. Or he may simply start some pointless altercation and hurt the teen physically. Since bullies usually pick targets who are smaller, due to their bigger stature, the victims can’t help but just cry or put their head down. And teens aren’t known for sharing these sorts of things with parents. They most likely would suffer the hurt in solitude. If the bruise or wound is something that doesn’t heal quickly or cause some other serious health problems, it will even end up threatening the teen’s life.
Even though the physical effects of bullying are immediate and could turn life-threatening, it is not as cruel as the mental ones. When a teen is bullied on a particular day, that day for him is ruined. First, he had to come out of the trauma and embarrassment. Then his brain would conceive all the ways he could have avoided that situation; if it was unavoidable, how could he have tackled it in a better way that didn’t end up in him being bullied. Some teens take things too far. They feel they were oppressed so much that they begin to hate school. In extreme cases, the bullied teens take matters into their own hands, which results in horrifying violence. So parents should pay closer attention to their children; when they are too quiet or preoccupied, your intervention is needed. If your teen is not willing to talk, call his/her friends and ask if everything is alright at school. If you come to learn that your teen is indeed bullied by some kid at school, reach for the principal. Trying and meeting the parents of the kid who is bullying will also help.
It is closely related to the mental trauma the affected teen suffers. Though it originates from mental agony, the ill-effects show outside. In layman’s terms, somatization is the physical manifestation of psychological disorders, like anxiety. When the bullying gets too much, the victim would not be able to sleep or eat properly. In extreme cases, even if the teen is able to shove down the food, due to the persistence of the parents, he/she would have trouble digesting it. Similarly, your teen might also experience anxiety, headaches, and/or palpitations. Seeking medical help will surely alleviate the ailments, but it is only temporary. As long as the root of the problem remains unresolved–which in this case is the bullying–all the solution you seek and find is not permanent. If your child is too hesitant to open up to you, then a professional counselor would be able to help.
Effects on the kid who bullies others:
In most cases, happy people spread joy, and sad people spread misery. So it won’t surprise you that the kid who bullies others is, in fact, battling a fight on his own. Problems at home, parents going through a divorce, loss of someone close, or even financial instability at home can all cause a kid to lash out at the world. Or, in this case, someone weaker than him. He feels too powerless and weak to help his own predicament, so he tries to control someone else by bullying them. However, this is not a healthy way to deal with their problems, and as a result, it has a negative impact on the kid who bullies other kids.
Kids who bully other kids are likely going to rebel against everything, which will inevitably lead to bad connections and drugs/alcohol. They would learn all the bad habits very young and spoil their health.
Bullies are almost always vandals, too. They might start off small, but in time, they would graduate to more sinister activities. Dropping out of school will only be the first step. This sort of wildness and blatant disregard for society will lead them to juvenile.
A kid who bullies other kids will most likely mistreat his romantic partner/spouse and even his own kids. Add to this their tendency to abusing alcohol; it might end up even at something as serious as a loss of life.
Like the bully, bullies too need care and affection. When a teen is accused of bullying some kid, instead of punishing him, talk to him. Or send him to the school counselor. The bully needs as much attention as the bullied, if not more, as his behavior affects not only him but a long series of people he would meet in his life. Tending to his psychological problems may even save someone’s life in the future.