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Bullying/ Peer Victimization

The rate of bullying is increasing greatly in middle childhood as children are entering formal schooling. This BuzzFeed aims at addressing the problem in a light-hearted way.

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1. Bullies


Peer victimization is a set of actions that are repetitive intending to harms others. There is usually a power difference between the bullies and the victims. In a family context, the witness of marital conflict and harsh parenting can foster and model aggressive behavior in children that lead to peer victimization. Other factors like impulsive temperament and high peer status are also associated with the becoming of a bully.

2. Victims


Shyness, social anxiety, physical appearance and low social status all contribute to being a victim in peer victimization. Bullying is a serious problem rather than a "normal rite of passage". The long-term effect of victimization predicts poor physical and mental health and even reduced adaptation to adult roles. However, one important factor that protects children from bullying is friendship. Having at least 1 friend can reduce the harmful effect of peer victimization.

3. Bystanders should take actions


Although bystanders are the witnesses who are not engaged in the bullying process, they play a huge role in bullying intervention and prevention. Even though the bystanders are not demonstrating any direct or indirect bullying behavior, they potentially acknowledged the bully's behavior by standing by and watching. It is important to educate the witnesses and encourage them to stand up for the victims. It is proven to be effective through fostering a sense of empathy for the victims and efficacy for bystanders to intervene, which helps create a positive school environment.

4. Parent's advice on reacting to bullies


In the face of peer victimization, it is important for the parents to provide support. Since one can not easily change other's behavior, it would be helpful to let the children focus on adjusting inner feeling and to just ignore the bullies. Keeping a positive mood and strong inner world is the best defense to peer victimization.

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