Are you worried that your child is too afraid to speak up about the abuse he may be experiencing? As a parent, it’s important to understand the stigma surrounding reporting bullying and the impact it can have on your child’s health. However, there are steps you can take to help your child overcome their fears and feel supported when reporting bullying. For parents, there is a need to empower their children to speak out against bullying and shift from a place of stigma to one of support and protection.
“Recognizing and addressing the stigma surrounding reporting bullying is important, as it can prevent victims from accessing the help and support they need. Schools and organizations can work to create safe and supportive environments that encourage reporting and proactively address bullying. . effectively. Additionally, educating individuals about the harmful effects of bullying and the importance of reporting can help reduce stigma and promote a culture of respect and inclusion,” says Divya Sharma, Psychologist and Chief Learning Officer and Chetan Jaiswal, Founder, MyPeegu. (Also read: Parenting tips to help your child recognize and deal with bullying at school )
They shared with HT Lifestyle, the stigma surrounding reporting bullying, its impact on children’s mental health, and strategies for parents and teachers to encourage safe reporting.
Reasons why people hesitate to report bullying:
- Fear of retaliation: Victims may fear that if they report bullying, they will face further harassment or violence from the bully or their supporters.
- Shame and Shame: Victims may feel embarrassed or ashamed of being bullied and may fear being judged or criticized by others if they report the bullying.
- Lack of trust in authority: Victims may not trust authorities to handle the situation effectively or may feel that reporting the threat will not result in meaningful change.
- Social Isolation: Victims may worry that reporting bullying will make them appear weak or weak and may lead to social isolation or exclusion.
- Cultural norms: Reporting bullying can be seen as a sign of weakness or a lack of self-control, which can perpetuate the stigma surrounding reporting.
Effects of Bullying on Children’s Mental Health:
Bullying can have a significant impact on psychological distress, especially for victims of bullying. This can lead to a range of negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Bullying can also cause physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, and difficulty sleeping. The effects of bullying can be long-lasting and can affect the victim’s mental health even after the bullying has stopped. In severe cases, bullying can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicidal thoughts. It is important to address bullying as early as possible to prevent further harm.
How to help kids overcome their fear of reporting bullying:
Schools and organizations can implement anti-bullying programs and policies to help prevent bullying from occurring. It is also important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs of bullying and to talk to their children about bullying and its effects. If you or someone you know is experiencing mental distress as a result of bullying, it is important to seek the help of a mental health professional. Effective treatments are available to manage the negative effects of bullying and promote healing and recovery.
When it comes to the stigma surrounding the prevalence of bullying and bullying, it is important for parents and teachers to acknowledge that approximately 69% of reported cases are often viewed as harmful acts such as teasing in the beginning, which escalate over the course of several incidents. When it comes to the level of harm suffered by the victim, it is subjective in nature.
Resolution and reform cannot be a ‘one fits all’ approach. Prevention is the best cure by ensuring students of all grades know how to respond to bullying, how to ‘bully-proof themselves’ and report to authorities. It is important to remember that every case and individual is different and to ensure behavioral change, its key advisors actively participate as part of the relevant committee of any school or institute formed with the aim of addressing reported cases of bullying.