Kids who bully other kids often do it to cover up their own insecurities and to put other people down. It might be that some kids do this to have fun or are pressured into it by friends. With the consequences of bullying in news headlines more frequently lately, it is hard to imagine why anyone would bully someone else.
Effects of Bullying
There have been a number of studies done lately on bullying and its effects on the kids involved. This is because numerous incidents have taken place with kids committing suicide or other drastic acts because they were bullied. One of the first high profile cases were the boys who committed the Columbine shootings in 1999. These boys were teased and seen as outcasts, and eventually acted in retaliation. Other grade school, high school, and college students have committed suicide because of bullying. Many more suffer in silence for years.
Recent studies have found that the rates of mental health conditions are up to 3 times higher among students that are bullied. Bullying causes depression, suicidal thoughts, and attempts at suicide. Many of these kids that are teased do not tell anyone, so they suffer quietly, sinking further and further into depression, and their grades and social lives also suffer.
Many people still think that kids will be kids and this is a part of growing up. They say that if we leave the kids alone to work it out, they eventually will stop. However, with the tragic stories of suicide and homicide becoming more common, many people are ready to finally put an end to bullying.
Cyberbullying a Growing Problem
The problem now is that kids have so many more venues in which to bully. The schoolyard bully who beats the little guy up and takes his lunch money is not so common anymore. Today, kids can bully other kids from their bedrooms at night, sending text messages or putting posts on Facebook. Since kids are so connected to their social media, bullying by using these means really does emotional damage to the person being bullied. “The cyberbullying feels like something they can’t get away from,” said Laurie Curley, a school psychologist who works with kids who are bullied. (1)
Parents are being warned to be more aware of their kids’ activity and how much time they are spending on cell phones and the Internet. Parents can help their child maintain a healthy caution for these things so that they will be less likely to post things thatwould make them a target for bullying. Overall, parents, teachers, and other adults need to watch for bullying and take action and report it when it occurs.