Bullying has become increasingly more common in schools with greater platforms for bullying available today. The effects of bullying a young child are long term and can manifest in a number of ways.
Bullying can stem from a number of factors. Children can be targeted for what they look like, their ethnic background, their family’s financial background, their intelligence, their choice of clothing or their behaviour. Bullying often presents in the form of verbal or physical abuse. These attacks, while not permanent, have a greater psychological impact. Sufferers of bullying tend to develop psychological trauma following prolonged bullying.
This psychological trauma can lead to the child repeating scenes in their head. They initially try to gain a better understanding of why they are being targeted. Some children may be afraid to tell someone about being bullied. Others may choose to tell their parents but the parents may dismiss or ignore their concerns. However, without the correct support, children often lack the understanding and instead focus on developing defence mechanisms to tackle bullying.
As a result, children who suffer from bullying can behave anxiously, defensively or negatively. They can develop insecurities and project a negative expectation of their peers. Without appropriate explanation, they can be seen as difficult children and may be bullied even more.
This ultimately creates a negative cycle. Children are not only replaying bullying episodes in their head, but they are also being bullied as a result of their responsive behaviour. Overtime, even if bullying stops, the effects of bullying remain. In some cases it may even lead to their children adopting their behaviour and getting bullied. This is a vicious, never ending cycle that can ultimately lead some to depression and sometimes, suicide.
Bullying should not be ignored, particularly in those young and vulnerable children who are so impressionable. The long term effects of bullying are severe and can lead to more serious conditions such as depression and sometimes suicide.