All over the world, lot of young ones suffer some forms of bullying. Surprisingly, the victims of this frightful act are mostly children, ranging from as little as four years old up until their adolescent years. They quietly live with such trauma not knowing how or who will stand up for them against their tormenting adversary. Bullying is an aggressive behavior that is intentionally shown towards someone considered to be of lesser power or strength. Such aggressiveness can be exhibited psychologically, physically or verbally.
This article attempts to shed light on the causes, effects and possible solutions to this unpalatable behavior that is rampant among our young students in Nigeria.
CAUSES OF BULLYING
Certainly, this is just an attempt to unveil likely causes of bullying in Nigeria. It is in no way exhaustive
Frustration: Some kids have a terrible way of showing their frustration when they fail to get their needs met. They in turn vent their disappointments on anyone around, particularly on the one they
believe is no match.
Domestic Hostility: Remember our young ones learn easily from what they see the adults around them do. Unlucky kids that grow up in spaces or environment where violence is usual most often get to exhibit bullying tendencies as they assume that violence is a good way to express themselves.
Child Abuse: As a manifestation of a deep rooted trauma or distress, a child who experienced abuse may likely show bullying tendency. In order to cope with the pains of the abuse or replicate it on others, they use intimidation as a way to exert power or control.
Impact of the Media: Exposure to unhealthy media content that promotes aggression or bullying can influence
students’ behavior. Unfortunately, such negative scenes are ubiquitous on TV’s and social platforms now than ever.
Lack of Counselor in Schools: Insufficient or outright lack of counselors within educational institutions may contribute to having an environment where bullying can thrive.
Impact of Peers: Particularly at the tender age, children easily get influenced. It is therefore easy for a child to assume intimidating others is a good act if they find themselves rolling with wrong friends. Bad influence of peers can indeed have a significant role in encouraging or perpetuating bullying behaviors.
Broken homes and lack of parental care: A child that grows up in a dysfunctional home or with overly busy parents may develop aggressive attitude. The popular maxim “You cannot give what you don’t have” comes to play. A child who doesn’t enjoy love due to lack of parental care is most likely going to give out hate to those around them.
EFFECTS OF BULLYING
The intimidation and consistent harassment that is associated with bullying can have severe and long-lasting effects on the victims. Students afflicted with such wrongdoings are negatively impacted in
some ways as listed:
Mental Health Issues: Depression, anxiety, loneliness and consistent feeling of sadness are mental issues that can be demonstrated by the bullied when left for long without attention.
Physical Health Problems: Children who are victims in such cases may develop unhealthy change of eating or sleeping pattern. What happens when a child fails to have enough sleep or food? Your guess is as good as mine.
Dwindling Academic Performance: No one likes to be where they are not loved. A child with so much passion and interest for school may suddenly start hating the mention of it because of the thought of the bad experience they get every time from the bully at school. In turn, this lack of interest will reflect in decreased academic performance and increased school absenteeism.
Social Difficulties: In deed, Fear of reject or attacks from their oppressor will make any child keep to themselves. Such child may enter into their shell and may struggle to make friends.
Depleted Self-Esteem: A bullied child who consistently endures psychological, emotional and physical pains without early respite may suffer serious damage to their self-esteem.
Self-injury and Suicide ideation: In extreme cases, the bullied may consider taking their lives as a permanent solution to the unending trauma and harassment.
SOLUTIONS TO BULLYING
Let us see some of the strategies adopted at Mictec International schools that have been very effective and should surely help to dowse these negative occurrences wherever they are implemented.
The first approach is increase awareness about the issue through workshops and campaigns. Students from their tender ages should be told of what bullying really is and how both the bully and the bullied could be affected. Schools should ensure there are counselors to handle such cases among their students.
They should also put in place regulations or policies that clearly state consequence for those who engage in such awful act. Knowing the punitive measures against such practice might be preventive or cautionary.
Parents, on the other hand must avoid falling into the too-busy-to notice attitude but pay close monitoring of their children’s behavior at home and act when necessary.
Bullying is a menace that is with us and cannot be wished away. We only need true and serious collaboration of teachers, parents and the entire community to combat it. If you suspect a student is being bullied, it’s crucial to have open and supportive conversations with them to understand their experiences and provide appropriate support. It is important to address this ugly habit promptly and provide assistance to students who are concerned. We all should
work together to create safe environments that promote kindness, respect, and compassion.