One of the most painful aspects of bullying is that it is relentless. Most people can take one episode of teasing or name calling or being shunned at the mall. However, when it goes on and on, bullying can put a person in a state of constant fear. You will notice most students spend their afternoons hungry and unable to concentrate in class because they are too afraid to go to the school cafeteria at lunchtime.
Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, anxiety and even suicidal tendencies and death. Bullies are at risk for problems, too. Bullying is violence, and it often leads to more violent behavior as the bully grows up. It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 elementary-school bullies will have a criminal record by the time they are 30. Some teen bullies end up being rejected by their peers and lose friendships as they grow older. Bullies may also fail in school and not have the career or relationship success that other people enjoy.
Who Bullies? Many bullies share some common characteristics. They like to dominate others and are generally focused on themselves. They often have poor social skills and poor social judgment. Sometimes they have no feelings of empathy or caring toward other people. Although most bullies think they’re hot stuff and have the right to push people around, others are actually insecure. They put other people down to make themselves feel more interesting or powerful. And some bullies act the way they do because they’ve been hurt by bullies in the past — maybe even a bullying figure in their own family, like a parent or other adult. In this show I talk about what parents and adults can do to better support all children especially the ones susceptible to bullying.