What is Bullying?
According to Google:
use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.
“a local man was bullied into helping them”
|synonyms:||persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong-arm, dominate|
According to Wikipedia:
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively to impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing. The target of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “victim “.
We have all run into bullies in some shape or form. For many of us now as adults, we find them in the workplace or on the soccer fields with our kids. In the workplace or at PTA meetings, we can normally fend for ourselves even though we get irked when we see these people coming a mile away.
For our kids, they have it much harder. First off, they cannot recognize bullying for what it is when they first encounter it. secondly, they are only now broadening their view of the world and how human being interact as a general rule beyond Mom and Dad (next topic…bullying at home); they become confused and in some situations even scared.
I remember being overseas, travelling by myself and being approached by a group of thugs making eye contact and being very intimidating, mostly with their body language. This was super scary.
Rule #1 learnt from the subways of new York City…do not make eye contact, if you do, drop your eyes immediately! I did this and sped up my walk…crossed the streets and kept on moving…fast.
Our kids have not learnt rule #1 yet. Depending on the situation, they end up thinking that they are the ones at fault and they internalize their fears and their scares. As a parent or any concerned adult, you have the burden of creating a backdrop where they can share anything and everything with you. This is a part of how we nurture healthy AND happy children.
To help us with this, let us first figure out why the heck do bullies mistreat others.