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Myths and Facts about Bullying

Friday April 03rd 2015 - 14:22 AM EST
Added by: Fairfield Psychological Associates, P.C

Recently, there was a column on Bullying in Psychology Today magazine. Some of the information was surprising and informative.

# Myth: Bullies seek power because they feel powerless. In fact, Bullies use aggression in a calculated, dominating way to get what they want, and often it works, which makes it a self-rewarding behavior. It is normal for children to experiment with power tactics, but usually give them up as they mature.

# Myth: Bullies were themselves previously abused as children. Actually, long term studies of young children who experienced bullying in preschool more often become victims as they grow older, perhaps due to the damage done to their self esteem.

# Myth: Bulling is a problem for schools to solve. Yes, schools need to take a stand and appropriately deal with bullies, particularly when the victims have disabilities. There have been effective programs to educate and sensitize school children about disabilities, as well as how not to be a victim. However, bullying is a societal problem, reflected in movies, videos and other media. Adults set the tone for teaching values and the behaviors which shape children.

# Myth: Childhood bullies outgrow bulling. Some do; but multiple developmental and environment factors affect emotional growth. Many who bully carry their patterns into adulthood. unfortunately, aggression tends to be a stable behavior pattern over time; and often persists into adulthood. Just talk to anyone in the workplace who has a bully as a boss or supervisor.

# Myth: Everyone is at risk of cyberbullying. Yes, in many ways, the internet is an equalizer; however, kids who tend to be isolated socially and lonely, rely on the internet more and are more risk for being bullied.

# Fact: Studies show that harshly punitive home environments tend to raise children who are at risk of becoming aggressive and have trouble regulating their emotions.

# Fact: Studies show that bullies lack prosocial behavior, may not understand other people’s emotions and typically view themselves quite positively.

# Fact: One effective teaching tool for parents and school officials is to teach other kids who may be bystanders not to reward bullies with attention, which only rewards their behavior.

# Fact: Bullies may appear to be popular, because they often seem socially dominant; but in actuality, their peers really don’t like them. This knowledge can lead to interventions targeted towards the bystanders of bullying.

# Fact: Bullying is more complicated then simple aggression. It is based on power and is a deliberate and often repeated attempt to cause harm to others perceived to have lesser power.

# Fact: Though bullies appear to get what they want in the short term, in the long term, it ay affect their overall adaptability. Studies have shown that aggression is often a marker for future negative outcomes in life.

# Fact: There is ample evidence to show that victimized children often suffer emotional problems, most notably, depression and anxiety. Without the proper interventions and help, these problems will persist into adulthood.


  Bullying |  Child Counseling


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