Bullying at schools deeply hurts child’s self-esteem, damages personality sometimes beyond repair

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 By Seema Mir

ISLAMABAD, Feb 10 (APP):Bullying at schools if not stopped when it is started causes long-term damages to personalities of both the bully and the bullied children.
Besides shattering the confidence of the bullied child, it also does psychological harm to the bully, these were the views of an academician Farkhanda Jabeen while talking to this scribe.
“It badly hurts victim’s self-esteem, besides damaging his or her personality that requires a long time and hectic efforts on part of parents to rebuild the child’s shattered confidence.”
She further said bullying could threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school, and negatively impact their ability to learn.
According to researches the short term effects of bullying are:
-Low self-confidence
-Depression
-Abnormal fears and worries
-Sleep disorders
-Nervous habits
-Frequent crying
-Poor appetite or digestive problems
-School problems
-Rage
A bullied child Zainab Noor, while talking to this scribe, said she felt scary of the child who used to bully her although an old best friend of her.
The issue, another academician Nosheen Rauf advised, should be handled subtly, involving both the bully and the bullied children.
More importance should be given to the bullied child, just to help her/him to overcome her fear, she emphasized.
She said case history of the bullying child should be traced so that it could be established that why the child was bullying others.
She further said,”The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts.There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.”
According to research when adults whether teachers or parents intervene quickly and consistently to bullying behaviour they send the message that it is not acceptable.
It further shows this can stop bullying behaviour overtime.
The findings of research were endorsed by the mother of a bullied child, Mrs Samina Durrani, saying, “When I noticed my child was being bullied at school by classmates, I immediately contacted the school administration.”
Taking it diplomatically with the class teacher and school management, she said, “I got the issue resolved with the grace of Allah Almighty, the school administration responded positively and solved the issue.
When asked about how she came to know that her child was being bullied, she said her child used to narrate to her daily happenings in the school from where she got the hint.
Psychiatrists say kids, who are bullied, can experience negative physical ,school and mental health issues. The kids who are bullied are more likely to experience depression,and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness,changes in sleep and eating patterns and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy.
The observations of psychiatrists were endorsed by the mother of bullied child Mrs Samina Durrani.
The academicians suggested that assessment should be conducted by the schools to determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether prevention efforts are working.
A safe environment encompassing a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and respect should be built using staff meetings, assemblies, class and parent meetings, and newsletters to families, they said.
A school website, and the student handbook should be created to establish a positive climate at school to reinforce positive social interactions and inclusiveness, they added.
The experts further advised to include bullying prevention material into the curriculum and school activities.
There was a unanimous advice of the academicians for the children to always portray their confident and bold posture and hide nervousness by standing tall and straight, and looking directly at people when speaking to them.
Further, speaking in a clear and loud tone ,and, being neat and tidy, would send the message that any foul behaviour would not be accepted, they concluded.