Teenage bullying

Since we were kids we have heard stories of beautiful princess and handsome prince, we watched movies about the happy endings of beautiful king and queen but come on, let’s face it the world has changed.
The happy princess is now on anti-depressions, the handsome prince is probably bullying someone somewhere and let’s not forget about the literates- they hardly give a heck about what’s going on around them. I used to think that we live in a world where don’t care about the person living next door but *boom* I was wrong and so where you. Many people retain horrible memories from high school, in large part due to the bullying they experience.

Teenage bullying is a serious issue in schools these days and it isn’t always physical. There are many different type of bullying including –

1. Verbal Bullying – it is when a person forcefully criticizes, insults or dishonor someone else. It is a destructive kind of communication intended to harm the self-concept of the other person and produce negative emotion.
2. Emotional Bullying – it is when a person tries to get what they want by making others feeling angry or afraid.
3. Physical bullying – bullying with aggressive physical intimidation, involves repeated hitting, kicking, tripping, blocking, pushing and touching in unwanted and inappropriate ways.
4. Social bullying – when someone try to dishonor another person in social gatherings, school, classrooms etc to make them feel embarrassed.
5. Cyber bullying -it’s a convert bullying behavior using digital technologies including hardware such as computer, laptop, smart phones, and software such as social media, text, messages, websites and other online platforms.

People often take these habits as teasing even the person being bullied may not understand in the beginning but ‘teasing typically happens among friends or kids trying to fit in with their peers’, for boy it is more like a right to passage and important for their friendship to make stronger bonds. Every kid has been bullied at some point by their friend or sibling and it’s not harmful when done in a playful, friendly, mutual manner. But when teasing becomes hurtful,unkind, uncomfortable of the other person- it crosses the line of bullying and needs to be stoped.

Signs of bullying –

Increased passivity or withdrawal
• Frequent crying
• Recurrent complaints of physical symptoms such as stomach-aches or headaches with no apparent cause
• Unexplained bruises
• Sudden drop in grades or other learning problems
• Not wanting to go to school
• Significant changes in social life — suddenly no one is calling or extending invitations
• Sudden change in the way your child talks — calling herself a loser, or a former friend a jerk

Bullying can have a variety of short and long term effects for both the victim and a bully. Learn about the psychological and societal effects of bullying

Short term effects on the bullied victim can include :

• Social isolation
• Feelings of shame
• Sleep disturbance
• Changes in eating habits
• Low self-esteem
• School avoidance
• Symptoms of anxiety
• Bedwetting
• Higher risk of illness
• Psychosomatic symptoms (stomachaches, headaches, muscle aches, other physical complaints with no known medical cause)
• Poor school performance (missed school due to suspensions increases this risk)
Increased truancy risk
• Difficulty maintaining social relationships
• Increased risk of substance abuse

Long term effects of bullying on the victim –

Chronic depression
• Increased risk of suicidal thoughts, suicide plans, and suicide attempts
• Anxiety disorders
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Poor general health
• Self-destructive behavior, including self-harm
• Substance abuse
• Difficulty establishing trusting, reciprocal friendships and relationships
Long-term effects of bullying for the bully
Without proper treatment, bullying behavior is likely to continue into adulthood.
• Risk of spousal or child abuse
• Risk of antisocial behavior
• Substance abuse
• Less likely to be educated or employed

There are things you can do if you are being bullied:

• Look at the kid bullying you and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
• If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
• Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
• Stay away from places where bullying happens.
• Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
Bullying does not always happen in person. Cyber bullying is a type of bullying that happens online or through text messages or emails. There are things you can do to protect yourself.
• Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Being kind to others online will help to keep you safe. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone.
• Keep your password a secret from other kids. Even kids that seem like friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want. Let your parents have your passwords.
• Think about who sees what you post online. Complete strangers? Friends? Friends of friends? Privacy settings let you control who sees what.
• Keep your parents in the loop. Tell them what you’re doing online and who you’re doing it with. Let them friend or follow you. Listen to what they have to say about what is and isn’t okay to do. They care about you and want you to be safe.
• Talk to an adult you trust about any messages you get or things you see online that make you sad or scared.

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