Bullying is a painful experience to endure, especially for young children. If a child is bullied, it affects their self-esteem and self-assurance in the long run and can also lead to several mental health problems if you are unaware.

Types of Bullying Parents Should Be Aware Of

Unfortunately, bullying can happen in several ways and through several mediums. Here are the most drastic forms of the act that parents should be aware of.

Physical Bullying – Physically violent acts like pushing, kicking, slapping, hitting, shoving, punching, etc.

Verbal Bullying – Derogatory name calling pertaining to physical looks, behavior, performance in certain activities, etc. 

Relational Aggression – Being be ignored, excluded, mocked, intimidated or even insulted because of personal characteristics.

Cyberbullying Bullies take advantage of physical distance and online anonymity to harass victims.

Sexual Bullying – Sexual humiliation of an individual via words or physical acts of violence.

The Effects of Bullying On Children

Research has shown the alarming effects of bullying which parents should be wary of.

Mood Disorder and Anxiety

Children may develop the onset of mood disorders (depression) and anxiety disorders due to being bullied. These can begin during the early ages and show visible effects in their adult years.

Toxic Stress

A child who suffers from bullying is constantly on edge and processes stress more strongly than they should be. Large levels of stress triggers increased cortisol hormone levels, which begin to tax the body and even cause sleep and anxiety disorders.

Decreased Quality of Life

Bullied children are prone to developing addictions which appease their reward and pleasure centers. These addictions could develop as coping mechanisms, but could eventually be devastating to their physical health.

Changes in the brain Structure

The brain’s regions that deal with anxiety, fear and emotional response, i.e., the amygdala and the temporal lobe, are larger in bullied children. This means they will always be on their guard and continuously be in a state of fear, which affects their productivity as individuals.

Academic and Social Failure

Children who suffer from bullying have reduced attentionalcapacity due to anxiety, which means their academic performances are reduced and they suffer from social failure. Unfortunately, these children think they themselves are to blame for their lowered performances.

What Can Parents Do: Open Communication

Parents need to establish open communication with children.

Educating your child about bullying, its effects and constructive ways to respond to such acts is one way to help prevent the effect of bullying. By establishing open communication, children feel secure and sure-footed when faced with fearful circumstances.

Practice great communication skills at home to strengthen your child’s self-esteem, self-perception and self-image for a healthier and happier kid! Show interest in your child’s routine, social happenings and activities.

If you see a consistent decline in academic, social and personal performance, then it’s time to speak to a mental health professional to get some insight.

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