For better understanding of childhood bullying effects, it is necessary to understand its concept. Some childhood bullying activities are never considered as bullying, but the fact is they do affect kids’ development. Childhood bullying involves aggressive actions persistently and frequently committed to kids due to their less powerful nature. Childhood bullying can be categorized in different ways, which include verbal, gestural, physical and rational bullying. Verbal bullying involves the use of direct verbal insults, calling of names and use of unfair criticism to kids. At the same time, verbal abuse can be indirect upon influencing another individual to criticize a child. In some cases, malicious rumors can be spread against kids, which are also a form of indirect verbal bullying. The form of gesture bullying happens when they are threatened, or through the use of obscene gesture by others. Intentional turning away from kids or averting from gaze is also gesture bullying. Physical bullying involves actions such as striking, use of weapons, indirect hiding of kids’ belongings, and assaulting kids in front of other people. Rational bullying involves creation of groups of people against child. It can also be indirect upon persuading a group to exclude kids in their activities.
Bullying activities have gone far beyond moral frames, when kids are harassed sexually. Sexual bullying of kids falls in the four categories of bullying. On physical means, kids may be enticed or be forced to have sex with people that have physical power over them. It also involves touching of their genitalia. It can also be verbal by, when a person uses unwanted comments to kids which have some sexual relationship, either on a written form or spoken. Gesture sexual bullying, happens when there is the use of offensive gestures such as fingers, or throwing suspicious kisses to kids. Sexual bullying is very sensitive. Kids’ caregivers, parents and teachers should work together to avoid any signs of its existence. Parents should have the courage to discuss it with their children. Therefore, childhood bullying is considered as a deliberate exercise where kids are viewed as potential victims due to their vulnerable nature and weaknesses. It is intended to exert pressure, to hurt or else undermine and put down kids.
Psychological Effects of Bullying
Childhood bullying affects the development of kids’ psychology. Victimized kids show psychological problems, predominantly in relation to depression and the nervous breakdown. Eating disorders are believed to have some roots in the psychological effects of bullying, which normally happens during the time that kids are being bullied or after that. Psychosomatic issues also develop through bullying and affect both sexes (Rigby, 2003). They include body complaints which are not related to any physical cause. For instance, consistent headaches and stomachaches appear as soon as the school day begins. When the kids are allowed not to attend their school, they normally spend the remaining part of the day without much problem or sickness signs. Once kids start experiencing such behaviors, it is necessary to find out whether there are bullying activities happening in school.
Sleeping Problems Associated with Childhood Bullying
Good sleep is necessary to the growth and development of kids. Bullied kids show different types of sleep disorders. These kids find difficulties when falling asleep and in many cases stay a long time awake. They also have difficulties with staying asleep, and they would rather play games, or just sit on the bed instead of sleeping. Nightmares are very common to the children who are bullied. Some of them do not experience problems to fall asleep, but they normally experience nightmares compared to their counterpart, non-victimized kids. The nightmares are vivid and sometimes menacing on the activities, which have connections to bullying or not. Victimized kids develop fear when they fall asleep, and they would rather sleep while clinging to someone else. They always like to have the lights on, in fear that something terrible might occur to them in darkness. Bed-wetting is very common to bullied kids, an aspect that lowers their self-esteem.
Suicidal and Social Effects of Childhood Bullying
Research has showed that suicidal rates are higher among the bullied kids compared to their counterparts. Regarding that, the victimized kids think more about committing suicide than their peers do. This effect is highly sensitive as some kids do attempt committing suicide and others die in the process. Victimized kids find themselves in social status, which is different and lower than others are. In a way, social exclusion increases the chances of victimizing kids, but peer rejection increases when kids are bullied. In return, kids live in loneliness while others feel abandoned. These kids are also very quiet and they are very peaceful when left alone. Kids develop low self-esteem, and they fail to do activities that are easily done by their peerS due to the lack of courage. They normally think that they are inferior (Pressley & McCormick, 2007).
Schooling Problems Effects of Childhood Bullying
Bullied kids have a tendency of experiencing problems on their academic achievements. Frequent absenteeism is very common to the bullied kids. As stated earlier, many kids report cases of headaches and stomachaches, which lead to school absenteeism. When children are bullied by teachers or other schoolmates, they would rather stay at home where they find love. The victimized kids tend to avoid some parts in school, where they are likely to interact with others, such as rest rooms. Playing is very important for child development. However, bullied kids tend to hide themselves when others go to play, or others fail to include them in their games. They miss a very important aspect of life because playing does not only promote physical well-being but also relaxation of mind. These kids are always scared and have a lot of doubt about what would happen to them. All these issues experienced by these kids make the learning process difficult for them and create a lot of inconveniences. Poor performance attained by these kids due to the underlying factors, increases bullying actions by their peers, teachers or caregivers. Therefore, it is believed that many school dropouts were at one point bullied in their school life. All kids irrespective of their social backgrounds have rights to experience safety and feel the sense about security while at school.