All over the world, children face different forms of bullying every day. The United Nations reports that one out of three children worldwide gets bullied at least once a month. More than 50% of adolescents worldwide have suffered some sort of violence at school, while about 10% have experienced cyberbullying.
Bullying is a major factor in adolescents developing long-lasting physical and emotional problems – for both victims and perpetrators. So, it is of utmost importance to pay attention to our children’s mental health and behaviors.
Let’s talk about what exactly bullying is, how to address it, and where you can go in the Westchester and Purchase area for outstanding pediatric medical care for your child.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying manifests in different ways. It may be unwanted or offensive contact or communication that is sexual, physical, or verbal in nature, and it can occur in-person or online. Something as small as nasty jokes to something as serious as physical violence all encompass bullying.
Bullying can start as early as preschool and tends to peak during middle school. It can happen inside the school, outdoors around the school, and even online.
Anyone can be a target of bullying, both boys and girls. However, the risk of being a target for bullying is higher when your child’s peers perceive them to be different. Children who have low self-esteem, children who are less popular, LGBT youth, and children with disabilities tend to experience bullying a lot more than other children do, and this pattern is true worldwide.
How Often Does Bullying Occur?
Studies indicate that around 20% to 56% of children globally suffer from bullying every year. Almost a third of students experience physical violence, making this the most prevalent type of bullying in most regions.
Meanwhile, psychological bullying is the most common type of harassment in schools across Europe and North America. During the pandemic, bullying attacks largely took the form of cyberbullying.
In terms of region, South Asia, West Africa, and Central Africa have the highest numbers of bullying cases, as per UNICEF reports.
The Impacts of Bullying
Many research studies have found that bullying has adverse physical and mental effects on a child. Psychological stress from being bullied often manifests physically through the following symptoms:
- Sleep disorders
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Heart palpitations
- Chronic pain
Meanwhile, trauma from bullying can also manifest psychologically through the following symptoms:
Creating a Safe Space for Your Child
With the high prevalence of bullying all over the world, your child is likely to be a victim or even a participant. Childhood trauma from this phenomenon can have far-reaching effects on their life and growth. Thus, it’s important to address early warning signs of bullying in your child.
Seek professional help right away if you notice any of these indications that your child may be bullied or may be a bully:
- Emotional and behavioral changes (e.g., difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite)
- Unexplainable cuts and bruises
- Decline in school grades and not wanting to go to school
Efforts to Reduce Bullying
The steady increase in reported bullying cases has become a serious concern for policymakers across the globe. Children who experience bullying also tend to have poorer performance in school.
These factors may indicate a lapse in countries’ efforts to safeguard children’s rights. To mitigate these problems, many governments have started implementing stricter policies that promote the welfare of students.
Many campaigns were also launched by global organizations like the United Nations and its childcare and international peacemaking wings, UNICEF and UNESCO. Their efforts focus on promoting safe learning environments for children.
While these efforts have helped reduce bullying in some areas, more governmental and community efforts are still needed to control this prevalent problem.
Expert Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Purchase, NY
Here at Westchester Park Pediatrics, our team of pediatricians provides outstanding medical care for children, including mental health diagnoses and counseling. We provide a warm and caring environment to facilitate their healing and growth.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician on our staff, contact us today by calling (914) 761-1717. We look forward to helping you give your children the support they deserve!