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Monday, May 28, 2012

Negative Effects of bullying on children lives

Bullying among school children has become quite common practice. Bullying at schools has become so serious that it has been increasingly considered as a public health issue plaguing our entire society. There are many negative effects of bullying which may cause academic, physical, social, emotional, and psychological consequences on victims or bullies.

What is bullying?

Bullying among children is understood as repeated, negative acts committed by one or more children against another. These negative acts may be physical or verbal in nature -- for example, hitting or kicking, teasing or taunting -- or they may involve indirect actions such as manipulating friendships or purposely excluding other children from activities
Bullying is sort of aggressive behaviour against others such as, verbal by calling nasty names, physical by kicking, pushing or tripping up and social by everyone stopped talking to you. Despite some children bully others without aware to the results of their actions but bullying reflects adversely on the victims' lives and leads to be victimization to several disorders like anxiety, depression, loneliness and lose their opportunity to have an ordinary life.

Negative effects of bullying on children lives:


Bullying can also greatly affect the overall climate of a school. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 50% of children are bullied and l0% are victims of bullying on a regular basis. A number of children and adolescents have reported that they suffered side effects of bullying - a drop in grades, an increase in anxiety, a loss of social life.

Approximately 160,000 children miss school every day in the United States for fear of being bullied; more than 50 suicides have been linked to prolonged bullying; and approximately 85% of school shootings have revenge against bullies as a major motive.
Studies suggest that chronically victimized students may as adults be at increased risk for depression, poor self-esteem, and other mental health problems,6 including schizophrenia.
As a result of being bullied, victims may experience many immediate mental or physical health-related consequences.
Studies show that victims have more anxiety, sadness, sleep difficulties, low self-esteem, headaches, stomach pain, and general tension than their peers who are not being bullied. Also, this psychological stress can cause victims' bodies to be less resistant to disease and infection, and therefore they may get sick more often.

Bullying causes both short and long term damage related to:

Mental Health- shame, fear, low self-esteem, depression, and suicide
Physical Problems- obvious bruises or wounds from harassment, sleep disruptions, bed wetting, psychosomatic aches
Social Difficulty- inappropriate social skills, social isolation, inaccurate social perceptions
School Setting- difficulty concentrating, poor academic performance, absenteeism, overall school climate and breakdown of school connectedness, escalating school violence
Society- alcohol and drug abuse, gang involvement, escalating violence, crime

In the social area, victims have few friends or none at all. Due to their high anxiety level and low self-worth, it is very hard for them to make friends. This leads to feelings of isolation and believing that they are not even worthy of having friends. Also, other kids often do not want to become friends with the victims, because they are afraid that they will be bullied as well. Another reason that other kids do not hang around with victims is because they worry that peers will not like them if they associate with the victims.

Feelings of loneliness and sadness on the part of victims can also lead to consequences related to their learning and school success. Being a victim can result in poor school attendance, because many victims become afraid of going to school. They are also scared of riding the school bus or using the bathroom at school.
One study found that 8% of 8th graders in the U.S. miss at least one day of school per month for fear of bullies. Victims often receive lower grades due to attendance problems, and also due to their stress and worry. They become obsessed with the bullying and how to try to avoid it. This leaves little or no time, energy, or concern for schoolwork and learning. A vicious cycle can occur because the victim's poor school performance can lead to embarrassment and anxiety, which can in turn cause them to be picked on even more.
Some experts believe that school shootings are related to bullying. Students who committed school shootings were over two times as likely to have reported that they were victims of bullying.

In some cases, the bullying may be so severe and may go on for so long that the victim has thoughts of suicide, or he or she may actually commit suicide. Victims are also more likely to have attempted suicide than their non-bullied peers. The term "bullycide" is used to describe a victim's suicide that occurs due to extreme bullying behavior by a bully toward that victim.

Children who are bullied are at risk for developing a number of emotional difficulties, including depression and anxiety symptoms. Children who are particularly traumatized may go on to develop a specific type of anxiety disorder called, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When children are suffering from PTSD, they are prone to developing strong physical symptoms in situations where they feel unsafe and in danger. They appear disconnected from others, and they may experience an intense physical response from their nervous system that can involve angry outbursts, jumpyness, and hyper alertness. This reaction is the nervous system's response to potential danger, whether real or imagined, creating constriction and disassociation in order to protect the body.

Reference:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Disability
* Consequence of bullying
The Emotional Toll of Bullying in Schools
* 'Stop bullying now'

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What are the warning signs that your child is being bullied?

Unless your child tells you about bullying or has visible bruises or injuries it is difficult to know if your kid is being bullied. Many children, particularly boys and older children, do not tell their parents or adults at school about being bullied. Parents might notice kids acting differently or seeming anxious, or not eating, sleeping well, or doing the things they usually enjoy. There are more warning signs which parents and teachers need to check.
First let's learn what kind of bullying your child can face at school?

Bullying can take many forms, such as ---

  1. Hitting and/or punching (physical bullying)
  2. Teasing or name-calling (verbal bullying) 
  3. Intimidation using gestures or social exclusion (nonverbal bullying or emotional bullying); and 
  4. Sending insulting messages by phone or computer e-mail (cyber bullying)


Parents might notice kids acting differently or seeming anxious, or not eating, sleeping well, or doing the things they usually enjoy. When kids seem moodier or more easily upset than usual, or when they start avoiding certain situations, like taking the bus to school, it might be because of a bully.
When kids seem moodier or more easily upset than usual, or when they start avoiding certain situations, like taking the bus to school, it might be because of a bully.

Warning signs which tell that a child is being bullied:

  • Sudden loss of interest in school and school work.
  • Frequently complains of physical ailments such as headaches and stomach aches.
  • Begins having unexplained nightmares or experiences troubling going to sleep.
  • Comes home appearing depressed, moody, sad or teary eyed without provocation.
  • Has scratches, bruises, cuts or scrapes that can’t be explained.
  • Appears afraid to go to school.
  • Sudden loss of appetite with bouts of anxiety.
  • Has torn or damaged clothes or missing belongings.
  • Has few or no friends. 
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide

Any combination of these warning signs may almost be a definite indication that your child is or has been bullied. However, the best course of action is to talk to your child. You can start with some indirect questions that are more like a conversation than anything.
If you suspect bullying but your child is reluctant to open up, find opportunities to bring up the issue in a more roundabout way. For instance, you might see a situation on a TV show and use it as a conversation starter, asking "What do you think of this?" or "What do you think that person should have done?" This might lead to questions like: "Have you ever seen this happen?" or "Have you ever experienced this?" You might want to talk about any experiences you or another family member had at that age.

Let your kids know that if they're being bullied or see it happening to someone else it's important to talk to someone about it, whether it's you, another adult (a teacher, school counselor, or family friend), or a sibling.

Reference and more information: http://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/warning-signs/index.html


Related articles
Warning Signs Your Child is Being Bullied and Help (auctionshunter.wordpress.com)
Bullying (maycares.wordpress.com)
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

What is life?

I read online whenever I get time. During surfing sometimes I find interesting pieces of writing, quotes, stories or even fables which has moral values as well. Today I am sharing a story which has a lesson for us.
  • Life is hard to define.
  • All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on. (Havelock Ellis)
  • Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't. (Richard Bach)

Now read the story:                                    

"Once a man saw in his dream, that a lion was chasing him. The man ran to a tree, climbed on to it and sat on a branch. He looked down and saw that the lion was still there waiting for him.

The man then looked to his side where the branch he was sitting on was attached to the tree and saw that two rats were circling around and eating the branch. One rat was black and the other one was white. The branch will fall on the ground very soon.

The man then looked below again with fear and discovered that a big black snake had come and settled directly under him. The snake opened its mouth right under the man so that he will fall into it. The man then looked up to see if there was anything that he could hold on to.

He saw another branch with a honeycomb. Drops of honey were falling from it. The man wanted to taste one of the drops. So, he put his tongue out and tasted one of the falling drops of honey. The honey was amazing in taste. So, he wanted to taste another drop and then another and as a result, he got lost into the sweetness of the honey. He forgot about the two rats eating his branch away, the lion on the ground and the snake that is sitting right under him. Suddenly when the branch broke he remembered all the dangers woke up from his sleep.
The man couldn't understand the dream,so he went to a scholar to know its meaning.
The scholar said
"The lion you saw is your death. It always chases you and goes where ever you go.
The two rats,one black and one white, are the night and the day. Black one is the night and the white one is the day. They circle around, coming one after another, to eat your time as they take you closer to death. The big black snake with a dark mouth is your grave. It's there, just waiting for you to fall into it.

The honeycomb is this world and the sweet drops of honey are the luxuries of this world. We like to taste a little of the luxuries of this world and it's very sweet. Then we want to taste little more and then more. Meanwhile, we get lost into it and we forget about our time, we forget about our death and we forget about our grave."
So what you learn from this story?


Few more quotes about 'life'
  • In the end, it's not going to matter how many breaths you took, but how many moments took your breath away - shing xiong 
  • “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.” ― Dr. Seuss 
  • “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” ― John Lennon

  • And last but not the least I finish this post with words of 'Mother Teresa'
    “Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
    Life is beauty, admire it.
    Life is a dream, realize it.
    Life is a challenge, meet it.
    Life is a duty, complete it.
    Life is a game, play it.
    Life is a promise, fulfill it.
    Life is sorrow, overcome it.
    Life is a song, sing it.
    Life is a struggle, accept it.
    Life is a tragedy, confront it.
    Life is an adventure, dare it.
    Life is luck, make it.
    Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
    Life is life, fight for it.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    Useful links:

    What Life Is All About
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