I Will Fear No Evil
WHAT IS BULLYING
Children do not grow out of emotional, psychological, and physical pain. Still, they are left with invisible scars unseen by parents, guardians, educators, and community leaders. One hundred and sixty thousand children miss school each day to avoid being bullied. Bullying is not a rite of passage, and the psychological effects of bullying follow individuals from childhood into adulthood.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines bullying as unwanted aggressive behavior by another person or group of people. There is always an actual or perceived power imbalance, and the aggression is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying is a form of complex post-traumatic stress disorder because children do not magically forget the words that cannot be unheard, punches that cannot be pulled back, and the intrusive thoughts that keep invading their minds and preventing them from living their best life ever.
Every child should not have to experience bullying as a part of their life’s journey. The problem with this rite of passage is everyone does not survive the teasing, name-calling, rumors, physical abuse, threats, and intimidations. Many children endure the trauma with hopes of growing older and putting those memories behind them, but the psychological effects of trauma do not only get captured in memories, but the traumatic experiences get trapped in their bodies. The psychological impact can surface in adulthood as mental illnesses, psychosis, abusive relationships, risky behaviors, poverty, substance use disorder, etc.
Bully-Proof is vested in preventing traumatized children from growing up to become traumatized adults. Bully-Proof’s mission is to equip parents, educators, community leaders, and bully-survivors with evidence-based techniques that will reduce bullying behaviors.
It is paramount that adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behaviors and send a firm message that it is unacceptable. A quick response can stop bullying behavior with time. Nurtured children thrive in the face of adversity. Children must be loved and validated at home, empowered, and taught practical coping and assertive skills, so they can deescalate bullies and become resilient.