ISLAMABAD: Bullying at schools, if not stopped when it is started, causes long term damages to personalities of both the bully and the bullied children.
Besides, it shatters the confidence of not only the bullied child, it also does psychological harm to the bully, said an academic Farkhanda Jabeen.
"It badly hurts victim's self-esteem besides damaging his or her personality that requires a long time and hectic efforts on part of parents to rebuild the child's shattered confidence. She further said bullying could threaten students' physical and emotional safety at school and could negatively impact their ability to learn. According to researches the short term effects of bullying are low self-confidence, depression, abnormal fears and worries, sleep disorders, nervous habits, frequent crying, poor appetite or digestive problems, school problems and rage.
These are the warning signs parents and teachers should pick up for corrective intervention.
A bullied child Zainab Noor while talking to this scribe said, she felt scared of the child who used to bully her although she was an old best friend of her. The issue, another academic Nosheen Rauf advised, should be handled subtly, involving both the bully and the bullied children. More importance should be given to the bullied child, just to help her/him to overcome her fear, she emphasized. She said case history of the bullying child should be traced so that it could be established that why the child was bullying others. She further said, “the best way to address bullying was to stop it before it starts."
There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying, she added.
According to research when adults whether teachers or parents intervene quickly and consistently to bullying behaviour they send the message that it is not acceptable.It further shows this can stop bullying behavior overtime. The findings of research were endorsed by the mother of a bullied child, Mrs.Samina Durrani saying ,"when I noticed my child was being bullied at school by classmates, I immediately contacted the school administration. “Taking it diplomatically with the class teacher and school management she said, " I got the issue resolved with the grace of Allah Almighty, the school administration responded positively and solved the issue. When asked about how she came to know that her child was being bullied, She said, her child used to narrate to her daily happenings in the school from where she got the hint.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 19th, 2018.