Kids are bullied for too often and so are adults, although adults understand why it happens, know their options, and can cope better than any child can. We have all become aware that bullying is on the increase at every age level.
Physically strong and dominant people—adults and children—and people in authority with power over others—have always been able to bully weaker people. However, this behavior has become increasingly acceptable in our society in spite of receiving so much negative publicity. We all have to contend with bullying to some extent, and it is time to make it stop.
How Adults are Bullied
There are several ways in which adults are bullied:
- Workplace Bullying – Adults who bully in the workplace are not interested in working things out or in compromising; they want to dominate, control others, and make themselves look good in comparison to those seen as rivals for attention and promotion.
- Neighborhood Bullies – People living near you or beside you can be annoying, destructive, and obstreperous.
- Critics of Parenting Techniques – There are adults who watch and report indignantly or conscientiously on the behavior of parents under the pretense of protecting children, but are sometimes self-righteous critics who like to cause trouble for others.
- Uncooperative Groups of Parents
– There are team parents and school parents who are not happy with the progress or performance of their child and will sometimes try to create difficulties for a coach or teacher or parents of children seen as rivals of their child.
- Authority Figures – Some people with power will use it to thwart the efforts of others to accomplish a task for no other reason than they can.
- Rules Must be Obeyed – Common sense can be ignored by some people in order to “follow the rules” no matter how inappropriate their application may be in some instances.
How Children Are Bullied
There are endless ways in which children can become targets of bullying. Parents and other family members, playmates, older and bigger children, teammates, classmates, teachers, coaches, people in authority, and faceless people on the Internet can and do bully children. Bullies can always find an excuse for bullying, no matter how senseless or stupid it is.
Sometimes children are victims of “secondary” bullying. Secondary bullies do not initiate bullying on their own, but will join in on it.
An adult who bullies a child often provokes bullying by the child’s peers because the adult is seen as condoning bullying and inviting children to join in the fun.
How People React to Bullying
- Children – They stop trusting people and those in authority who should be able to protect them, like parents, teachers, coaches, and friends. Kids often become depressed, withdrawn, or become sullen and uncooperative. It is possible for children to develop recognizable physical symptoms of stress. People who are bullied as children often become bullies when they grow older, bigger, or whenever the opportunity presents itself.
- Adults – Adults also become depressed and anxious when bullied, and are sometimes forced to seek protection from bosses, law enforcement officers, or lawyers.
We must make sure our children understand what bullying is, why it happens, how to avoid it, and where to go for help if they are targeted. Kids also need to learn how to resist becoming a bully or bullying as part of a group. We need to work together to encourage feelings of empathy for others to change this dynamic.
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