Bullying is one of the most common traumatizing phenomena among children and adolescents and is recently being recognized as a growing problem.
In grades 6 through 12 one in every five students reports being bullied according to the National Center for Educational Statistics taken in 2016. Out of the students who reported being bullied 33% said they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the year. Statistic of the students that have been subjected to bullying reported that 13% were made fun of, 12% were subjected to rumors, 5% were physically abused, and the last 5% were deliberately left out of activities. The percentage of students who admitted to being bullied is much higher than the percentage of students who report being bullied to someone within the school. Due to this huge gap in the percentages the bullying problem within schools is worse than we thought.
It is difficult to fully determine why children have bully like tendencies when interacting with others. But arguments can be made that children tend to pick up these tendencies at home. When parents treat their children poorly from a young age the child is going to grow up thinking that’s the way to treat others around them. If a child knows nothing about care and affection of course they will treat their peers poorly.
Its stated “Bullies tend to have aggressive behaviors designed to obtain goals and these goals often begin first in their home environment.” from “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behaviors.” Children are most vulnerable to learning the appropriate behaviors at a very young age. Most of the behaviors that bullies tend to pick up on are due to the way their family acts. The home situation of most bullies is quite harsh, punishment is often within the home either verbal or physical. If the child makes a minor infraction it could lead the parent to overreact in a verbal, emotional or physical way. Children being raised in an environment like this often don’t gain approval or praise at any time.
If the primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward the child at a young age with lack of warmth and involvement in this child, it increases the risk that this child will grow up with hostile or aggressive behaviors towards others. Not just people in their family but towards people in general. If the child does become aggressive and the parent becomes permissive of these behaviors, without setting clear limits to the behavior towards peers, siblings, and adults the child’s aggression will most likely increase. If the parent of a child uses physical punishment and violent emotional outburst when trying to get their point across, this child is more likely to become more aggressive than the average child.
It has been concluded that bullies often stem from families where the parents are authoritarian, hostile, and rejecting, have poor problem solving skills and advocate fighting back at least at the least provocation. Children being raised in a hostile home environment could often feel neglected and unwanted. This could lead to the child becoming aggressive and act out in order to try and gain attention from their parents.
The parents of these children probably don’t realize that their behaviors toward their child leads them to act the same way they do towards others. Some of these children who bully may not know any better because they were raised in a home with negativity and where they were constantly put down. So they may see it as normal behavior when they are treating others this way not realizing that they are actually bullying.
According to “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behavior” “Out of a home environment of negativity emerges a personality steeped in the belief and justification that intimidation and brute forces are ways to interact with obstacles that are encountered in life.” It has been said that violence begets violence. If a child is treated with violent behaviors they most often turn and treat others with violent behaviors.
The aggression and anger of these children often builds up because they are not able to speak out at home in which it grows. So when they arrive at school and have to deal with some sort of situation they may just explode and go off on others within this environment. It is hard for teachers and peers to deal with children who do not know how to act properly, fearing they will always act out when something bad happens.
Justifying bullies is not what is happening but these children that bullies often can’t take all the blame they are raised in a sense where negativity towards others is normal. Parents of children who bully often don’t acknowledge their tendencies as bullying, just children being children and one sticking up for themself in a situation.
Linda Goldman from “Raising Our Children to be Resilient” claims “Thousands and thousands of boys and girls are sitting in their homes, schools and communities with unresolved, unrecognized grief issues that all too often get projected out in the world in a form of bullying, abuse, violence, and homicide, or inwardly in the form of victimization and low self-esteem, depression, suicidal idealization, and suicide.”
Children could bully just because they have lost someone near and dear to them within their family and aren’t able to cope with the idea and grieve over it. Imagine being put down constantly within the home environment, never having the moment to grieve about how they are treated. If they grieve or look upset within their house about how they are treated it may lead to more violence towards them.
All in all ““Children learn what they live” is a useful phrase to emphasis the huge effect adult modeling has on our youth. Family systems that foster aggression and condone bullying on perpetuate the misconception that bullying toughens kids.” Goldman argued.
Parents often punish their children in order to make them grow up to learn that life isn’t perfect trying to toughen them for what’s to come later in life. Children can misconstrued this and think this is what life is supposed to be like while bullying other children. That they are trying to toughen their peers.
Bullying is not a problem that can be stopped by children alone especially when it may be exposed to them within their home. Schools need to step in with interventions throughout the whole school and within individual classrooms. Staff at schools need to talk to the children one on one in order to help them grieve and be able to discuss what is happening at home or just in life generally.
Children need to feel supported by at least one person and it is up to school districts to provide care for children who may not receive affection at home. Instead of just thinking bullies are horrible children staff should look deeper often they can misunderstood children crying out for attention, or not knowing any better way to act towards others.
Goldman, L. (2004-12-27) Raising Our Children to Be Resilient. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rowan/reader.action?docID=240663&ppg=22
Ma, X. (n.d.). Bullying and Being Bullied. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/3202462.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A60abb9588a61d9951c2434b757060c62
Musu-Gillette, L. (2017-5) Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017064.pdf
Olweus, D. (n.d.). Bully/Victim problems in school. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/23420286.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A81a118046b9f273c73808da868e8d722
Roberts, W. B., Jr., & Morotti, A. A. (n.d.). The Bully as Victim. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/42732181.pdf?refreqid=excelsior:691cee82878e2580b4ba2f967406d63a