Being bullied by peers is the most frequent and damaging form of abuse encountered by children, having more severe long-term consequences than adult abuse, according to a recent study. One in three children report being bullied at some point in their lives. Of the children that reported being bullied, nearly half stated they were unlikely to tell their parents or a teacher about it. Instead, these children often internalize their emotions due to shame and suffer in silence.
Bullying is any type of aggressive behavior that is used repeatedly to dominate someone. It can result in physical and emotional harm that often lasts into adulthood—especially for those who were bullied more frequently or more severely. Researchers found that bullied children have an increased risk of developing anxiety disorders and depression in adulthood. They are also more likely to have poor relationships, few friends, low self-esteem, poor school performance, financial issues, difficulty keeping a job and poor general health, including a higher risk of psychiatric disorders and serious illness.
According to a study called The Youth Voice Project, students reported that having allying adults and peers that they felt comfortable talking to helped them the most when coping with bullying by providing positive support through connection, encouragement, affiliation, and listening.
Families First is here to support you if you suspect your child may be involved in bullying. We offer classes that teach communication skills to get kids talking. It is important for adults to have conversations with children about bullying so they understand that it is unacceptable. Every child deserves to grow up feeling safe and valued.
Call 877-695-7996 to receive help for you child or more information about bully prevention.
Find out more about bullying at stopbullying.gov.