According to New & Cochran (2007) bullying is a deliberate act of hurting a minor by a more powerful individual or group of people. Though bullying is common among children, there are members of staff who have been victims of bullying.
Forms of Bullying
Most common forms of bullying include being pushed around or hit, unnecessary calling of the victim’s names, teasing, destruction or hiding of their personal properties, verbal threats, insults, spreading of rumors about the victim, deliberate exclusion from joint activities and intimidating communications through emails and other social networks (NCAC, 2009). The list is endless, but all forms of bullying are usually aimed at making the victim feel less important and powerless.
Signs of Bullying
Both children and adults who undergo bullying portray peculiar behavior patterns, which points to the physical, social, cognitive or emotional trauma they are going through. Physical bullying realizes in scratches or bruises on the victim’s body. Some psychologists say that loss of appetite, frequent nightmares and bed wetting among children may indicate physical bullying (Nutbrown, 2006).
Socially, victims of bullying tend to have few or no friends and are very reluctant to be in places with many people, such as schools. In case of children, they are always lonely in class. Additionally, they are abnormally fearful, unhappy, anxious and moody. Due to this threat, such children hardly concentrate on the class activities and may regress in their learning process (Biggs, Simpson & Gaus, 2010).
In order to prevent bullying, the institution should adopt a “zero tolerance” policy while developing respectful ways of interaction among children, teachers and also between teachers and the children (Biggs, Simpson & Gaus, 2010). Children should also be taught some strategies of challenging any form of bullying. Encouraging children to express their disapproval of bullying behavior is the best way to empower children against bullying. They can either walk away from such unfair treatment or say “Stop, I don’t like it when you do that”.
Even though bullying is a negative practice that should never be tolerated in schools, childcare professionals should beware of how to work with both, children who bully and the victims of this unfair treatment. While doing this, they are expected to take swift and appropriate actions and discuss the effects of bullying with all children. The professionals should make the environment friendly for every learner.