Mar 02, 2023

As I go around the country talking about the long term impact of bullying, I clearly notice that there are many who still do not understand that bullying can have significant long term impact on the victims. Although many schools have now placed a lot of emphasis on the “stop bullying” movement, the necessary focus on ‘prevention’ is still lacking.

I believe it is really important to focus on understanding why bullying happens – why do bullies do what they do. In my own encounter in adult years with my worst bully from the past I came to understand that bullies are often misguided children who are struggling with issues of their own and do not know how to manage them. Instead they act out against other innocent children.

School staff and parents really need to understand this point. If a child’s emotional needs are satisfied, he or she does not have any reasons to be aggressive towards other children. Children deserve to be liked and admired for who they are – and if that does not happen, then they often end up trying something that they believe would make them popular (i.e., liked and admired by others). That is often what happens to turn some children into bullies.

It is possible that we may never be able to eliminate bullying altogether, but I believe that we would certainly go a long way, if we can focus on understanding why some children act out as bullies.

© 2017 - Sumi Mukherjee
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