The other day I was getting ready and suddenly I heard voice of a child. He was crying and continuously saying, “Mama, I don’t want to go to school”. I used to hear this sentence every morning. Then I decided to ask her mother “what is the reason, why he cries so much and that too every day?” She answered, “my son is suffering from a disease called thalassemia. It is a genetic blood disorder. Children suffering from this disease have retarded growth. My son is shortest in the class. Children bully him and for this reason, he avoids going to school. He has no friends now as they are afraid they’ll also be bullied if they go around with him.” His mother sounded very depressed.
Today many children face bullying because of one or the other reason. Some suffer because of their introvert and submissive nature and other because of their physical features that attract attention like fat or thin, tall or short. Almost any type of physical characteristics that is different can attract bullying. The most prejudicial bullying is having a different sexual orientation. The other reasons may include having different religious or cultural beliefs or being from a different racial group. As per one research, one out of every six child is bullied, while there are some child who are targeted more than others, every child is at the risk of bullying.
How to deal with this?
It is very important for schools to take up bullying seriously. If a teacher or any other staff member ignores bullying, then the children think that this behaviour is acceptable. On the other hand, if the teacher immediately responds to bullying then the likelihood of such acts will decrease. Sometimes when teachers consistently use negative feedback, the students may also adopt negative attitudes. This may encourage bullying. Parents play an important role in helping their child fight against bully. They should advise not to fight with bully or bully back rather hold on his anger and act bravely, ignore them and walk away. The children should talk to their teacher or counselor or someone they trust and share what they are going through. This may help them in feeling a little less alone.
It’s important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as something that child must “tough out.” The effects can be serious and affect child’ sense of safety and self-worth. In severe cases, bullying has resulted into tragedies, such as suicides and school shootings.
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