When Bullies Hurt Kids

It is not clear if bullying has increased or if reports have increased but one thing is for sure, we are becoming more aware of the problem every day. As our ability to glean news from many sources increases, we see that bullying is alive and well. The advent of cell phones and the Internet have allowed bullies even more avenues to torment others. One has only to type ‘bullying’ into the search bar of any Internet browser and they will come up with countless links to articles of suicide brought on by bullying.

Bullying is a dangerous activity that is sometimes difficult to recognize. Not the same as teasing, which we all know is part of everyday life, bullying can lead to death by suicide or murder. More than just a rite of passage for many children, being abused in this way can stay with a person for a lifetime.

As we grow up we learn there will always be bullies and we try to find ways to deal with them. In the past children were often taught, that if they stood up to bullies the bully would somehow change their opinion of them and the bullying would stop. Is that still true today? Was that ever true? It can be in some cases.

Yet in others, depending on the bully, confrontation can mean something else. To the habitually cruel bully it can mean public humiliation. Not wanting to risk being humiliated again, the bully may resort to tormenting their intended prey privately or anonymously. This is easily accomplished with the use of the Internet and cell phone. Your child, grandchild, nieces and nephews can be bullied on a daily basis and you might never know unless they tell you.

Bullies sometimes band together to mistreat another individual, which has a real potential for things to get out of hand, as gangs of bullies cross accepted social lines with attacks that sometimes kill unsuspecting defenseless people. No one wants to believe their child could ever bully someone but every bully has parents.

According to Psychology Today children that bully many times grow up to be adults that bully. Once they find themselves in a position of power and have a chance to push someone else around it can be too tempting to resist. They bully their employees, co-workers, spouses, and aging parents. They can come into positions of power as political and government leaders, religious leaders, teachers, etc. Like other forms of abuse, this cycle needs to be broken to prevent even more anguish for children and adults alike.

Bullies are everywhere and some are relentless. If you suspect your child is being bullied or is a bully himself or herself take steps to start prevention and or treatment. Do whatever is necessary to put a stop to this behavior. Call the police if you have to. Every bully needs to be made aware that there are consequences for their actions. If everyone works together we can lessen the impact of bullying and save lives.