Our society functions under the assumption that certain individuals are more powerful than the others, thus, we have the play of powers in every human social interaction. The social strata of our country is an example that some individuals are more powerful than the rest. However power can either be a boon or bane to society depending upon how a person exercises his power. Thus we have come to conclude that power is good when it is used for the benefit of many (deontology) and it becomes bad when it is used to suppress the rights of others or to render harm to those who can’t oppose it.
In schools where students are viewed as individuals of the same status, there are some who exhibit bullying as a way to show authority. This may include intentional physical assault, verbal abuse and other means that causes harm to others. It has become a phenomenon in schools around the world and may cause stress, fatigue, trauma, injury and etc (Einarsen, et. al. 2002). The media has helped to highlight such misdemeanor and much information has been disseminated for the benefit of the parents, schools and social workers.
Some schools have made programs to identify the bully and the victim for them to provide counseling sessions for the bully and personality development for the victim. These anti-bullying policies were designed to teach bullies of conflict resolution, negotiation skills, and impulse control the victims were given support and protection. Though this program generally aims to stop bullying, an article written by Robin Grille tells us that these program simply punish the bullies and fails to address the root cause of the problem.
Since the program segregates the bully and the bullied, we discriminate on the bully as though he was the root cause of the problem. We blame him for the trouble when in fact there is a gargantuan of factors that should be considered before pointing the finger at the bully. Perhaps an understated fact in our plight to address bullying is that there are certain factors that affect the behavior of all human beings. In the case of bullies, studies show that those who come from authoritarian parenting which often entails pking and closed doors for explanation and negotiation either becomes the bully or the bullied (Baldry, 1998).
This is because children’s differ in the way they react to environments wherein they are subjected to pain or rendered powerless. Studies show that only 43% of hospitalized children due to parental abuse consider themselves as abused children (Berger. Et al. 1998). The rest thinks that they deserve the punishment; in turn they simply try not to commit the same mistake again. To elucidate on that matter, children who thinks that the physical harm that they received was a worthy punishment for their wrongs has tendencies to be bullied or to become the bully.
If a parent pks a child for every wrong that he has done, he would think that for him to correct the wrong doings of others it is acceptable for him to physically hurt other too for them to learn their lesson. As a consequence, those who become the victims or the bullied may think that they deserve being bullied because they aren’t strong enough or they did not do something right. Thus, they begin to justify bullying simply because their parents bully them in their households. It is then evident that the bully and the victim aren’t the only ones to be blamed for such behavior.
The environment in the household which is dominated by the parents has much to play in the bullying phenomenon. Researches shows that those who admit that they were physically abused by their parents and openly protest against the act has lesser chances of tolerating cruelties. Since these children already have the concept of the wrongness of the act, they won’t tolerate being bullied or to bully other children (Berger. Et al. 1998). Psychology dictates that children imitate adults especially their parents. The most basic example of imitation is how parents teach their children how to speak.
First words such as mommy and daddy are to be repeated by adults over and over for the child to copy. Same goes with other skills such as walking, eating and etcetera. Thus, children learn from society by imitating. If a child is exposed in an environment that tolerates violence then the child will in turn learn how to be violent and considers it as a norm (Strassman, 2007). A bully or the victim is an indication that the family in which they came from tolerates bullying or similar forms of abuse, punishment, and cruelties.
Furthermore, in a book written by Gayle Macklem it is said that household environment strongly affects a child’s behavior since this is where he first imitates his social skills. Simple teasing which can be a form of bullying often occurs at home as older sisters and brother or even the parents themselves. Teasing mostly happens at school and study shows that 39% of students in the 2nd grade admit that they respond in a hostile manner when they are teased (Macklem, 2003).
Simple form of teasing between brothers can be resolved by parents easily but those who use authoritarian parenting often use power to stop teasing without even discussing the root cause of the problem. This is effective in preventing physical harm, however this does not stop the cause of the problem and similar teasing would eventually occur. The best way that parents should do is to discuss the cause and let their children speak their minds without the use of verbal abuse. This can lead to a resolution and will then teach children how to settle conflicts in peaceful means.
However, since parents today have lesser time for their children given that both have to work to support the family, most parents don’t have the time to discuss with their children the importance of settling their fight. Perhaps the worst thing that parents do is to further instigate a fight by heating up the teasing between siblings. Families belonging to the lower class or those who live in areas that where violence is high often view teasing as entertainment and a harmless act between sibling. This can be true however; teasing can often render emotional stress to children.
They either seek for vengeance or become meek and withdraw from the world. With teasing as the most basic example of how a bully is shaped in the household, it is evident that parental intervention is needed. Thus we come into a conclusion that bullies are simply children who where also bullied at home. This further supports the argument of Robin Grille that bullies should not be the ones to be blamed for their behavior hence, it’s the parents ho are to be blamed. For a school program against bullying to work, it is important that we address the main cause of the issue and not just the after effects.
Sure we can teach the bully how to handle stress and other skills to resolve conflicts in means that do not include physical injury and verbal abuse, but this is not the best way to resolve the problem. Since the cause of bullying is rooted at home, we should look into the families and perhaps try to address the problem from the source. It is best for schools to include parents in the counseling sessions to address bullying at home rather than waste their efforts in transforming the bully into a harmless individual which will eventually become futile since we send the child back to the environment that shapes bullies.
If we really want to address bullying then we must go to the root cause, and in that case, it is the family upon which the emotions of the child is first molded. Perhaps in this way we can directly pinpoint the source of the emotional distress in the child and the family. However one setback of this is that the school may find it difficult to contact parents and make them come to school for a scheduled interview. This is a tedious process and may require ample amount of time to properly get to the root cause.
However if this country is really determined to stop bullying then these measures should be undertaken to make sure that school environments are safe for their children. This would in turn foster proper learning and better social skills for their children. Since society now place much value on emotional intelligence, we must make sure that our children is emotionally stable and that should start at home with their parents as the role models. Reference Baldry, AC & Farrington DP (1998) Parenting Influences on Bullying and Victimisation Journal of Legal and Criminological Psychology Vol 3(2) pp.
237-254 Berger, A. et al (1988) The Self-Report of Punitive Childhood Experiences of Young Adults and Adolescents Child Abuse and Neglect Vol 12 pp. 251-262 Einarsen, S. et. al. (2002) Bullying an Emotional Abuse in the Workplace. London Strassman, J. (2007). How to Defuse Aggressive Behavior in Kids. Date accessed November 28, 2007. http://www. parenthood. com/articles. html? article_id=3833 Macklem, G. L. (2003) Bullying and Teasing: Social Power in child
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