Should you Fight a Bully
Note: This was a research paper done in 2012. Some information might have changed with time.
Lately there has been a lot of talk between parents about how to deal with bullying. Children are bullied at school all the time. A bully will usually target someone they can tell is weaker than he is and make sure he can show off. Often times it is debated how a child should deal with this. The child may be told what to do later by parents, but most children have their own instincts about what to do. This article will give the reader information about how bullied children instinctively deal with bullying and why they act this way.
One thing to remember about your child is that they have their own instincts. Some kids will feel it is okay to fight back against a bully. Some kids will feel it is better to stray away and tell an authority figure. Some kids will withstand the bullying and be silent about it. A child’s reaction to bullying has proven in the past to be related to their home life. It often comes from what they have learned at home. Note that the following statements are based on majority studies. Realize that not every child is the same and that what was observed with the majority is not necessarily true for every child.
The first instinct is fighting back. Children who used this method were often from homes that used physical punishment or so-called constructive criticism. Most of them were single children. It is believed by psychiatrists that the child viewed their parent as the bully and due to the fact that they no longer seem so big it made them not be afraid to fight back. Another theory is that the child thinks about how their parents act slightly like bullies and eventually the anger boils up to the point where the child becomes violent.
Children who stray away and tell an authority figure usually came from homes with more than one child, usually with the children being close in age. Some were very clingy to their parents. It is believed that they act this way because they learn at home to tell the parent when the sibling does wrong. They carry this over to school life and think of teachers and faculty as parental type authority figures.
Children who withstood the bullying and were silent about it were mainly single children. Their parents mainly used physical punishment with above average humiliation. It is believed that they learned at home to just take the punishment, not fight back, and to keep it private. The bullying is viewed as the punishment and it seems they just feel it is a normal part of life. Another situation was that the child was often told not to whine over little things and they didn’t know whether or not the bullying would be big enough to whine over. This wasn’t as common, but still was common enough to mention.
Children’s actions are very influenced by their relationship with their parents. Parents often question why a child would act the way they do, but fail to see that the child is only acting on what they know. This study showed that the child’s mind is very much influenced by his or her surroundings. Of course, it is always great to tell a child how to deal with bullying, but it is also good to know why they might stray from the parental advice.