Being bullied is one of the most horrible experiences that one can go through, especially children.
And it is the parents’ role to be understanding of how traumatic bullying can be and how much pain it can cause.
They also have to support their children through such difficult times to overcome this because they can have severe effects and consequences on the child’s life in both the short and long term.
Unfortunately, some parents do not really realize how serious this subject is even though the media started to shed some light on it.
The Long-Lasting Effects of Bullying:
In this article, we will try to explain the multiple impacts of bullying on children and hopefully raise consciousness of the risks it represents on their different life’s aspects.
What is bullying?
Before getting to talk about its consequences, first, you need to understand what bullying is.
You might think it is obvious and reduce it into a child beating up another, or a girl making fun of another, but it is definitely a more serious issue.
If we analyze the bullying phenomenon, we find that the bully is often in a more powerful position than the bullied, and he takes advantage of it to make physical and/or emotional damage. Among school-aged children, there are a lot of factors that can put a child in such a position as being bigger, older, having more friends, etc.
This might be the most obvious form of bullying, but it is not the only one. Bullying can also occur discreetly, for example, by launching a rumor or through gossip. And the bully here is also in a position of power that allows him to influence several people and turn them on the bullied.
So, whether if the bullying takes a physical form or not, it still has the same consequences on the bullied as he feels emotionally hurt and humiliated, sometimes even harassed.
What are the effects of bullying?
The emotional and social impact:
Children who suffered from bullying often end up feeling disconnected, both emotionally and socially. Bullying effects start with suffering from very low self-esteem, which comes with a lack of confidence and feeling incompetent and unwanted. And this results in having difficulties to be socially active and makes it really hard to build and maintain friendships.
A kid who has been bullied ends up feeling left out and abandoned, which only gets worse if he can not communicate his feelings to people around him, especially his parents. This is why parents should be aware of this issue and always be attentive to their kid’s behavior.
Frustration, loneliness and all of the emotions and thoughts running through his head might feel like a burden and cause big suffering. If not treated, these thoughts can easily turn into an unconscious behavior called “learned helplessness.”
This behavior will make your kid believe that he has no control over the situation and that no matter what he does, there is no way to change it. So, eventually, he will stop trying, and even if the opportunity to balance things comes, he is going to neglect it.
And as this behavior develops, the long-lasting effects of bullying take place, and it becomes really hard for the adult, once bullied, to maintain a healthy life and healthy relationships.
Along with the low self-esteem, he will suffer from trust issues and will also tend to self-blame himself for any situation that goes wrong.
And as a person continues to sink into all of these feelings of helplessness and loneliness that slowly turn into a severe depression, and as he tries to bury them in drugs or alcohol, in vain, he might find himself in front of one solution to numb his sorrow, which is suicide.
The physical impact:
If your kid has been bullied physically, he will obviously suffer from physical injuries such as bruises, bumps, maybe even bleeding and fractures in the worst-case scenarios.
But what you ignore is that the emotional impact that comes as stress and anxiety not only will affect your kid’s thoughts and feelings, but also his body.
Yes, anxiety often comes with health issues as well, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, weight gain, obesity, diabetes, etc.
It will also make his daily life a struggle as it can cause digestive problems, stomachaches, sleep problems, headaches, concentration issues, etc.
Not to mention that if he ever has any pre-existing condition, it will only worsen it.
How can you help your child?
If your child has been bullied, the recovery might not be easy and will require some patience from you.
Your intervention is very important to bring your child back a balanced and peaceful life.
You are playing a big part in changing your child’s perception of the experience he faced. He needs to know that his parents support him and believe that he can overcome the situation.
One thing you should be able to make him understand is that this experience does not reflect nor define who he is as a person; that being bullied means in no way that he is a weak person.
As a parent, you should try your best to make him feel better and regain trust in himself, and remind him that life brings up all kinds of challenges and that overcoming them only shows how strong we really are.
Another lesson for him to learn is that revenge and holding grudges are never a solution and that we need to forgive to be able to move on.
Help your child learn from his experience and devote his energy to focus on himself and his goals in life. And as this can be very challenging,
you can always have a counselor help your kid through the recovery process and speed it up.
Realizing the consequences and impacts of bullying is essential to every parent, in order to know how to handle things if the situation ever arises.
We hope that this article will help develop awareness about this phenomenon and makes every parent understand that recovery from bullying is not easy at all and that it will take time and effort so that they can do their best to mitigate these consequences.