Bullying is usually associated with aggression and abuse of power. It can occur regardless of social status or income; however, there lies a direct connection between bullying incidents and poor parenting. A significant number of these incidents occur within educational establishments. Bullying takes many forms, such as physical, verbal, relational aggression, cyberbullying, prejudicial, and sexual harassment. Appropriate parenting styles, however, can produce effective defensive tools for children to protect themselves from bullying.
Parents can thus, educate their children to create their own safe environment for healthy development, both physical and mental, guaranteeing the absence of abusive behavior or victimization.
Today, bullying is one of the essential concerns for society and education establishments. According to the statistics, every fifth student is being bullied at school, and every third student experienced cyberbullying (Bullying Statistics). The consequences of this problem can be psychological and physiological (Rajendran et. al., 2016). They can be immediate, for example, an injury, or they can be revealed years later. Bullying can trigger a feeling of insecurity in children, when they develop a distrust of people, including the family, and depression caused by isolation from society (Moore et. al., 2017). Physical consequences of bullying, such as bruises, traumas, and pain, can be noticed at once; however, such effects as stress, headache, and insomnia can occur much later, having a significant negative impact on the quality of life (Rajendran et. al., 2016). Psychological consequences can include depression, anxiety, self-harming, aggression, victimization, etc (Moore et. al., 2017). It can negatively influence a child’s future social life, causing loneliness and the inability to socialize with others.
Choosing the appropriate parenting style can contribute to a child’s mental and physical self-defense. Parents are role models; therefore, it is crucial to demonstrate an example for them (Rajendran et. al., 2016). For instance, submissive people who remain passive and accept or do not react to injustice are more likely to have their children bullied since their behavior likely reflects their parent’s actions (Moore et. al., 2017). Therefore, parents who possess submissive qualities should take a moment to view themselves in their children’s eyes and adapt to the appropriate parenting styles that educate values such as integrity and pride, thereby deterring the possibility of child victims.
Bullying and Parenting
Children who grow up in healthy family environments are bullied less often (Nocentini et. al., 2019). This is related to the appropriate parenting style which has likely emphasized ethical values, along with personal life experiences that were introduced and explained by parents to their children for the purpose of demonstrating appropriate lessons. Such children rarely suffer from victimization; thus, it is harder to bully them. Moreover, victimization is not always a consequence of bullying; sometimes, it is a premise (Nocentini et. al., 2019). Moreover, children often can experience bullying inside the family when one or both parents show inappropriate action with abusive behavior (Rajendran et. al., 2016). This type of parenting can cause extreme deterioration and affect physical and mental development in the future.
Parenting style is the primary tool in preparing children for future life. Most of the problems that occur with people daily can be connected to the lack of parenting during their childhood (Moore et. al., 2017). Bullying is a problem not only for students in school but also for college students. Moreover, adults can be bullied by their colleagues, superiors, and others. Regardless of age, the problem originates within their early years in their families (Moore et. al., 2017). This is why a parent must choose the appropriate parenting behavior so that their children can learn how to manage stressful situations.
Various types of Bullying in the Modern Environment
In modern society, bullying is no longer a problem in educational facilities. It also extends to every aspect of life. People can experience different types of bullying, such as physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational aggression, cyber-bullying, prejudicial bullying, and sexual bullying (Rajendran et. al., 2016). Physical bullying is using one’s body for abuse, which includes kicking, beating, slapping, etc (Rajendran et. al., 2016). It is one of the most common types of bullying. Usually, those involved in physical bullying, at some point, were victims as well (Nocentini et. al., 2019). Another example is verbal bullying, which consists of using verbal insults, threats, teasing to the extent when it is incredibly humiliating and offensive for a victim (Rajendran et. al., 2016). Relational aggression is negatively affecting other people’s relationships by manipulating them (Rajendran et. al., 2016). This type is common among children whose parents remarried or possessive friends who are jealous. Each of these aspects demonstrates the variety of abuse that may be felt as a result of bullying.
Cyberbullying is one of the most popular forms of abuse nowadays. Many young people use social media for self-expression (Rajendran et. al., 2016). For instance, they post photos, share comments, share their lifestyles, etc. Bullies utilize the internet as a means of posting insulting comments, sending abusive messages, or posting humiliating pictures and videos. To make matters worse, tracking the source of the abuse has become increasingly less possible.
Another kind is prejudicial bullying, which is based on stereotypes, such as racial, cultural, gender, etc. It usually occurs in traditional and deeply religious communities (Rajendran et. al., 2016). The main concern is that children with prejudice for such differences typically grow up with the idea of their supremacy and continue to educate the next generation in the same way. Prejudicial bullying is interconnected to sexual bullying, which is indicative of one’s sexuality (Rajendran et. al., 2016). It includes sexual orientation, choice of clothing, or merely body structure. Similar to prejudicial bullying, sexual bullying is also typical for traditional and religious communities.
Effective Parental Styles for Protecting Children
Appropriate parenting is the key to children’s healthy development and prevents them from being bullied. It is essential to communicate with them so that children can learn how to detect the problem and solve it without any interference from the family (Nocentini et. al., 2019). Parents also must remember that even overprotection can result in more bullying. The most effective way to teach kids how to resist bullies is a parental example in different social situations. If parents are bullied by other people, there is a higher chance that their children would be bullied as well. Therefore, the most appropriate parenting style would be teaching in a natural environment.
Parental interventions, such as nurturing, discipline, teaching, monitoring, managing, should be implemented appropriately and only if necessary, to establish trust between parents and children. Too strict or too lenient parental styles must be controlled to avoid the production of oppressors and oppresses. Unequal application of these styles has the potential to harm the parent-child connection (Nocentini et. al., 2019). Therefore, it is crucial to teach and monitor children but still, let them have some freedom.
The issue of childhood bullying and its direct connection to the parenting style creates many difficulties for society. Parents should teach their children how to identify and avoid bullies with minimum damage, but most importantly, they must appropriately show the example that produces favorable results. It is essential to have complete trust in the family so that children can rely on their parents’ help and understanding. Therefore, parents must ensure their children’s ability to deal with bullying if it happens to them.
Bullying statistics. (2020). Web.
Moore, S. E., Norman, R. E., Suetani, S., Thomas, H. J., Sly, P. D., & Scott, J. G. (2017). Consequences of bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. World Journal of Psychiatry, 7(1), 60. Web.
Nocentini, A., Fiorentini, G., Paola, L. D., &Menesini, E. (2019). Parents, family characteristics and bullying behavior: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 45, 41–50. Web.
Rajendran, K., Kruszewski, E., &Halperin, J. (2016). Parenting style influences bullying: A longitudinal study comparing children with and without behavioural problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(2), 188-195. Web.