Hi Buzzers! Bullying is actually the oldest problem in our social system. Many studies were held to understand this barbaric behavior plus its solutions. But, rather than ended bullying seems to get more popular after the invention of internet and smartphones. The two are the best combination to do Cyberbullying. The shocking truth is the kids on the internet sometimes don’t realize their comments or posts is “bullying”. So, if your kids are the bullies….here’s why..
1. Monkey see monkey do
Kids are smart at the time of their lives they observe what’s around them including behaviors. They learn what’s normal and give a note to that subconsciously. In this stage, they still couldn’t differentiate what’s good or bad, their brains are like a sponge that absorbs the information and mimic it.
So, if kids surrounded by an environment where calling people with bad names is “fine”, yelling, or even hitting people is “okay” or “not a big deal”, they tend to have the same behavior when they grow up. Well, the term of the environment itself is varied. It could be in the family circle, neighborhood, friends, and even the TV shows. Sometimes parents don’t select a good TV show for their kids and don’t provide a better understanding of the environment, norm, and kindness.
2. Somebody encourage them
Sometimes what we want is to help them, but sometimes our advice can go beyond what is acceptable. Somebody here refers to anyone, parents, siblings, teachers, brother, senior classmate or even strangers. For adults probably the term of ” You Need to Fight for Your Own Rights” is a good solution in handling bullying since mostly the victims choose not to speak up and not to give a single fight. But, it’s not always right since kids are different from adults, they can’t handle the stress and pressure in a good way..that’s why lots of kids handle it by throwing a tantrum.
If you feel this anger and he/she translate it in a wrong way what happens could be more disastrous from what you will imagine..they can throw a vicious fight, planning some revenge, hurting the bullies and later on become a bully him/herself. Since you give kids an idea “a bully needs to get bullied, they deserve it”, it’s the same as saying “bad deeds must be avenged with bad deeds too”. The bullies and victims both are kids, they need to understand and learn what they did wrong and why their actions hurt others so put both for a counseling is better.
3. They want to take control of their life
Kids are vulnerable human beings, they have a lot of things ahead that need to figure out and in order to do that they sometimes make a bad decision. In most cases, the bullies life is far from perfect and it can make them scared. As a result, in order to not lose a grip on their own life they want to take control of someone else’s life; the victims. Controlling someone else’s life will give them power, a sense of respect, and a stability to the chaotic life they had. It gives an illusion that they are in charge and everything is okay while everything is not, they need a serious help, not a power.
To understand more about this behavior as adults we can reflect it in our workplace. A manager suddenly become ferocious to the employees when literally nothing is wrong, simply just because after meeting with the board leader he gets bad reviews which make him think “my career/yearly bonus/business deal is not safe” literally he thinks the world is crumbling apart.
4. Social Structure and Peer Pressure
Social structure is a patterned social arrangement in a society. The social structure brings a hierarchical stratification that leans to the majority. In a school or class, the majority can decide what considered to be “normal” and “not normal”. Imagine if the majority of kids decide your kid doesn’t belong in a class so they start to bully your kid and worse is your kid starts to accept this social structure and change her/himself into what the majority expected.
This can create some problems since people are very diverse, especially kids label “normal” and “not normal” in a funny way such as based on clothes, accessories, the way somebody’s talk and activities. Most kids will lose their identity because of it. For example, a young girl said she actually doesn’t want to wear a mini skirt, but the majority will think she’s a weirdo if she doesn’t wear it, it also happens for a boy such as don’t like to play football or bully other kids but they have to do it.
How to stop it? An education about different culture, realizing that people have their own choice, and understanding on people likes, dislikes, and behavior are varied all around the world. Parents or teachers should give kids a real example such as how American and Japanese are different in culture and physical look but has the same role in science or world peace.
5. Lack of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence or EQ is an ability to recognize and express emotions that they or others have in intelligently and socially appropriate way and with empathy. If a kid lacks emotional intelligence, they will act apathetic and sometimes have no clue that what they did (bullying) will hurt the victims and affect them in a long term.
Kids are naturally self-centered individuals, therefore, we need to guide them in recognizing and building their EQ. The parents can introduce and entitled them to a charity program, highlight to them the importance of gratitude, and read them storybooks that can bring them into a roller coaster of emotions such as A Christmas Carol, Ugly Duckling, and The Little Match Girl.