Did you know that the effects of bullying reach not just the victim but also the bully? Those who work with kids, tweens and teens know too well why you must stop bullying to avoid long term harm to all parties involved. They know the problems surrounding all forms of bullying are far reaching and may affect the victim, the bully, and even the silent bystanders.
As parents, we all worry about bullying. And, unfortunately, the statistics tell us we have a cause for concern.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tells us that bullying affects as many as 20 percent of high school students while cyberbullying impacts 16 percent.
And when you’re a parent of a special needs child, you worry more. Bullying can have many negative effects in the short and long term. Any way you look at things, bullying is hurtful. The effects of bullying may last a life time.
Whether your child is bullying or being bullied, now is the time to get involved.
Read about the three types of bullying.
Three types of bullying:
- Direct bullying – This is the kind of bullying we’re most familiar with. It’s what most of us either witnessed or experienced on the school playground. This type of bullying can be carried out by one person or a group of people. The following are a few outcomes of direct bullying:
- Victim is threatened
- Victim is called nasty names
- Bullies play tricks on the victim
- Victims are physically injured
- Relational bullying – This type of bullying often starts from a relationship that has gone sour. The bully will go out of his or her way to exclude the victim from anything fun or interesting. If your child is a victim of relational bullying she may:
- Get left out of parties, sleepovers or groups
- Be ignored by other kids at school
- Hear lies and rumors that others have started about them
- Cyberbullying – Cyberbullying is a relatively new form of bullying that takes place online. This can include mobile phones, tablets, apps, websites, text messages, blogs, etc.). If your child is a victim of cyberbullying, he may experience:
- Private texts or emails being forwarded to groups of people
- Threatening or aggressive online communications
- Embarrassing pictures of them posted without their consent
- Online rumors about them
Long-term risks of bullying
Bullying has long-term effects on the victim and the bully. Let’s explore the damage it can do on both sides.
Long-term effects of bullying for the victim
Depending on its intensity, bullying in any form can have devastating effects on the victim. These may include:
- Chronic depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Self-destructive behavior
- Poor social skills
- Substance abuse
If your child is a victim of bullying online, at school or anywhere, get him or her to a counselor to negate these negative effects. A growing body of research links bullying and substance abuse, suicide and depression, so this isn’t something to take lightly.
Long-term effects of bullying for the bully
Sometimes, bullies see the light and change their ways. Unfortunately, though, many bullies remain bullies for a lifetime. If a bully doesn’t see a need for change, he or she may end up following a path that leads to:
- Domestic violence
- Antisocial behavior
- Substance abuse
If you find out that your child has been bullying another, it’s important to intervene. Many parents think this is for the victim’s sake, but it’s best for your child too. Children who bully others may be struggling to handle their own emotions or insecurities. Arrange for your child to talk to a counselor.
Bullying is an age-old problem, but it’s one we all must address. It’s unfair for any child to feel unsafe at school or on the playground. Talk to your kids about bullying to find out what’s going on.
About the Author:
TREVOR C. MCDONALD
Writer and Editor in San Diego, California
Trevor McDonald graduated from Penn State University in 2012 with a degree in Communications. He is currently living the dream working as a freelance writer. He writes about a broad range of topics, from business, government, and technology to travel, addiction, wellness, education and even fashion & lifestyle. He is currently available for hire on a contract or freelance basis. Please feel free to email him at TrevorC.Mcdonald@gmail.com