Bullying Bullying in all forms have become more and more of a problem, especially with our school age children.  It’s especially prevalent with children who appear to be different.  Whether they are overweight, too skinny, have a learning or physical disability they are subject to bullying from their peers. Some consider bullying to be purposeful attempts to belittle or exert control over another person through verbal abuse, exclusion, physical abuse or violence.  This can be done by tone of voice or in content such as teasing or threats.   With the popularity of cell phones and computers this has grown to include cyber-bullying in the form of teasing, threats or undesirable, hurtful pictures. The fact that negative behavior gets more attention than positive can be one reason for bullying. Violence in our cultures and various forms of media have an effect also.  If we feed our minds with visions of violence, such as professional wrestling where the victor is usually not the “nice” guy, and violent movies, music, TV and games then we beget violence and shouldn’t be surprised.  Some families are not warm and loving and that can cause unwanted bullying due to the example set at home. Children that experience bullying can and some do become bullies themselves.  They get tired of being picked on, feel helpless and pick on others to build themselves up or try and even the field.  My son, who has high functioning autism, was bullied all through his school career.  He became a bully himself and got caught fighting on school grounds, on the bus and at home.  Fortunately he overcame the anger and frustration as he matured and outgrew his bullying tendencies. Laws against bullying are becoming more popular.  In the United States of America the laws are governed state by state not national.  Each year more states put anti-bullying laws on their books. Australia is third most searching country on the topic of cyberbullying in 2013.  Roughly one in four Australian children have been bullied.  Females tend to bully more covertly whiles males are more “in your face” about it.  Statistics show that bullying has decreased in Australia but there still is a problem that needs to be dealt with.  As our cultures mix and grow we see more bullying.  This needs to be nipped in the bud…and soon.  There is no clear answer to stop it but we, as adults, need to make a concerted effort to raise our children to respect all others regardless of their skin color, religion, ethnicity and other differences.
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