Bullying in children can have a significant impact on their mental health. It can bring misery and impact the social well-being of your teens. However, despite this, bullying in schools continues to be a problem affecting many children regardless of gender or race.
If you have been a victim of bullying, then you can clearly understand what it means to be a target of bullies. But those who haven’t been bullied lack understanding of the mental impact this practice can have on the victims.
The first step to defeat children bullying in schools is if most people know that this vice exists and understand the far-reaching effects it can have on children’s mental health.
Impact on the Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing
Bullying can have a significant social and emotional impact on children. Among other things, it can make it challenging for kids to make friends or even maintain friendships. This can hurt the growth and development of bullying victims in their general and academic life.
But how does bullying affect the social and emotional well-being of the children?
Ideally, it affects children’s self-esteem (confidence in self-worth and self-respect). Victims can lack self-esteem when hurtful and humiliating words and actions are used toward them. For instance, if a child is called a loser repeatedly, they are likely to suffer from low self-esteem and might act like a loser.
The same will happen if a child is called “fat” or called other humiliating terms based on their sexual orientation, race, or physical appearance.
Bullying also presents an emotional burden to the victims. For example, victims can feel helpless, vulnerable, lonely, or frustrated. In response, they can turn to non-reproductive behaviors like skipping classes or engaging in drug abuse or porn addiction. In fact, if the children don’t get help from qualified psychologists or therapists, they are at a higher risk of suffering from depression or suicidal thoughts.
If Bullying Victims Don’t Get Help, They Develop “Learned Helplessness”
Like a disease, the effects of bullying on children will worsen if appropriate actions are not taken. In fact, if the bullying victims don’t get the necessary help, they will develop “learned helplessness.” This is a situation where the bullying victims believe they are helpless and can do nothing to escape that situation. Eventually, they stop trying, and their depression worsens.
The worst part is that the situation will follow them into their adulthood. They will become adults with self-esteem issues and will struggle to build and maintain healthy relationships. This will hurt both their personal and professional life.
Physical Impact of Bullying on Children
Bullying of school children can take different forms, including physical. Signs of physical bullying include bruises, cuts, scratches, bumps, etc.
However, apart from these physical signs, bullying in children can lead to stress and anxiety. And stress and anxiety can lead to several health issues, including ulcers, high blood pressure, insomnia, etc.
Bullying victims may also suffer from headaches and experience worsened pre-existing conditions such as heart disease and eczema.
Bullying Affects the Academic Performance of Children
To succeed in academics, children need to be attentive. Unfortunately, bullying victims may be unable to focus on their studies fully. This can lead to a sharp drop in academic performance and general life.
A drop in academic performance is one of the signs that a child is a bullying victim. This is usually the case because bullying victims focus more on bullying than academics.
Another reason could be that bullied kids may skip classes, especially if bullying happens inside the classroom. This will cause a significant drop in grades and overall academic performance.
Additionally, in schools where bullying is rampant, teachers are likely to spend more time disciplining kids, which will affect the children’s academic performance.
Bullying in Children Affects Parents
Parents and siblings of the bullied children are always the first to be affected. Parents are affected because they can no longer enjoy a normal parent-to-child relationship with their children. This also applies to the siblings of the bullied kids.
Besides the tainted relationship, parents are affected if they cannot find a solution for the bullied child. Some parents go through a lot of pressure trying to find a solution for their children, reaching a point where they develop mental issues themselves.
This is especially the case if the parents feel they have failed or feel isolated and lonely. Some parents may feel they missed seeing the bullying signs in their children and didn’t do enough to prevent their kids from becoming victims of bullying.
It’s, however, essential to understand that no parent is responsible for what bullies do to their children. So, instead of blaming themselves, parents of bullied kids should try to find a solution for their kids and see that the bullies are dealt with accordingly.
How Kids Can Heal
As stated, the effects of bullying on children can go into adulthood. Quick measures are necessary to prevent this and ensure the children have a normal life as they enter adulthood.
But taking quick steps isn’t enough. You should address this vice correctly to avoid impacting your child further.
The first step to help bullied children is changing how they view the situation. The healing process should focus on how the children view themselves after undergoing this worse experience. While you should make your kid aware of what happened to them, you should focus on their self-worth instead of what happened to them. The goal should be how they can move from that situation and focus on positive things in their lives.
The solution should also focus on finding closure. And the best way to find closure is to start forgiving the bullies. So, instead of focusing on revenge, guide the children on self-growth and things they have control over.
It’s best to have a counselor or a therapist to guide your child to speed up the recovery process. Check our therapist’s resource directory for the best therapist for your bullied child.