Mythbusting: Most Bullying is Physical
Hopefully there is more information these days about the prevalence of different types of bullying. Physical bullying such as pushing and shoving used to be the first thing people thought of when asked about bullying, however over time another form of bullying has become more prevalent for both boys and girls and that is verbal bullying. Name-calling, snide remarks, unwarranted personal comments and attacks are becoming the leading cause of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem in young children and teenagers.
This interlinks with another myth about bullying that name-calling and the like are just ‘kids being kids’, however, this is not and has never been the case. The ‘kids being kids’ perspective only takes into account the ‘name callers’ intentions, rather than considering how the victim takes it. One of the most common causes of child depression has been constant name-calling, or social bullying (such as leaving someone out intentionally) by peers that are made in ‘jest’. This is probably the most difficult to identify and the most sensitive to address. There is a fine line between mates mucking around and bullying.
There are two main results of verbal bullying: The child will exhibit symptoms immediately, such as increased anxiety, worry or even falling frequently ill. The second result involves the child internalising the bullying which takes a little more time to identify. They feel rejection, inferiority or may fear the next encounter with the person.
Victims of verbal bullying tend to separate themselves from the bully which is the first method that parents can assist with when dealing with a child that experiences this. Encouraging them to meet new friends and associate with other kids can also help establish the child’s self esteem.
For more information on youth bullying check out https://au.reachout.com/