Conflict Management: Bullying


This is an article I was commissioned to write for the website Beautifully Said last week. The webmaster said they were in need of some information about bullies. Using some of the knowledge I gained in my Communication & Conflict course at Ashford University, I put this together. Let me know what you what you think.

Bullying has become a large problem in society. Long gone are the days where a child would be picked on a few times during the day at school. Now because of technology, bullies can attack their victims on social networks, with cell phone text messages, and through email. This can lead to a young person developing low self-esteem issues, as they withdraw from all normal social activities. It is important to tackle the problem of bullying by learning ways to stop the bullying from taken place, making social interaction safe for all children.

To begin to understand how we can tackle this problem we have to understand the different forms of bullying that occur.

The website list the following as the type of bullying a child may face:

• Physical bullying
Pushing, shoving, hitting, tripping and other acts, which physically harm another person.

• Verbal bullying
Insults, harassment, taunts and other forms of aggression (expressed verbally or in writing).

• Emotional intimidation or “relational aggression” Withdrawing friendship or rejecting someone in order to assert control over that person.

• Racial bullying
Mocking racial traditions, spray painting racist graffiti, making racial slurs and engaging in other racist behaviors.

• Sexual bullying
Making sexual comments or engaging in unwanted sexual touching.

Physical bullying has been a large problem with pre-teens and teenagers and can often lead to very serious consequence. Take for instance Casey Heynes, a bullying victim from Australia. A recent video of Casey confronting his bully vent viral around the globe:

While Casey had every right to protect himself, it is possible that the damage he could have caused to his bully could have been irreversible. The situation should not have been allowed to escalate to this point, leaving Casey with no choice but to take this level of action. It is imperative that adults recognize when bullying is taking place and do everything in their power to stop it.

It is often discussed how children can deal with bullies. Relying on friends that they can trust is often mentioned. Speaking honestly to adults, they feel comfortable will is known to be helpful. As well as believing and loving themselves, are ways to build self-confidence. Bullies are known to attack weaker and lonelier children, so all that advice can work. Yet it is not address often enough about the source of the problem; the actual bully. Steps must be taken to eliminate the behavior, which is putting the blame not on the victim, but on the perpetrator.

The first step is to accept that a child is being a bully, and then begin to identify what is triggering their negative behavior. It must be made clear that their behavior will not be tolerated and they will have to learn other ways to channel their aggression. At this point, it is best to not use physical punishment, because it will continue the linking of aggression with their actions. This is an appropriate time to take away something important from the child along with a conversation on why this is happening. If they hurt someone or damage property, have them apologize to their victim, it is important for them to understand the pain they have caused. Finally, once they begin to make progress and control their anger, praise them.

As children interact with each other, they begin to learn about how their behavior affects others around them. Those who use aggression and anger to express themselves must be taught quickly that their actions will not be tolerated. Bullies must know that their treatment of their peers can and will lead them to trouble. If all adults in the young person’s life express this with love and understanding, the problem can be conquered at the source.

One Response to “Conflict Management: Bullying”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love the level of detail this went into. You broke down the different types of bullying and how to recognize and help a child through this situation. Excellent usage of the video to support your blog.

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