Few things can affect us quite as strongly as the strength, length, and health of our personal relationships.
Which is what makes social bullying so devastating.
And so dangerous.
Today, we’ll provide the information you need to identify and prevent social bullying. We’ll be covering:
The four types of bullying include:
Bullying is the product of a power imbalance. The child who bullies another perceives themself in a position of power over the victim(s) and uses this power aggressively.
However, bullies simultaneously struggle with feelings of inferiority, often leading them to bully in the first place.
Children who bully generally feel:
Social bullying is the use of various means to damage or destroy someone’s social relationships. For this reason, it’s often called relational aggression or relational bullying.
It’s an insidious form of bullying because it takes many forms.
Social bullying can occur in person and as a form of cyberbullying.
In-person social bullying looks like this:
Relational cyberbullying includes:
The purpose of relational bullying is to damage or destroy the victim’s reputation or social standing, or both. This explains why social bullying is most prevalent among young teens and tweens.
Developmentally, the years between 9 and 12 are when we become aware of who we are in relation to others. Our social reputation, social relationships, and what those outside of our family think of us gain primary importance.
Tweens become self-aware, placing importance on appearance, fitting in with others, and privacy.
Tweens also begin to become aware of their own and others’ sexuality. They often face conflicts in dealing with the emotions and behaviors of their first crush or attraction.
Cyberbullying behavior is a big issue for tweens. They are often considered “old enough” to have cell phones and to be active on websites like Facebook, YouTube, gaming platforms, and others with less parental supervision.
This means that every child between the age of 9 and 12 is a prime target for a social bully.
Being socially bullied has serious negative effects on the victim’s mental health. They can include:
These effects, especially those on the victim’s mental health and social behaviors, can continue into adulthood.
Fostering an atmosphere of trusted communication, relaying to students that they can talk to you about anything, is vital in dealing with bullies.
Define what is happening. Give them words to share their experiences.
Helping victims recognize that it’s not their fault and that bullying is wrong, and not just mean, is also key.
Help them “save face” by bringing the attention to the bully’s behavior. Also, remind them that some of their favorite celebrities have been victims, too.
Foster a school-wide environment that helps everyone feel safe, secure, and valued. By removing feelings of insecurity within the school community, children will be less likely to turn to bullying.
Equip you and your students with defenses against social bullying and create a more positive school environment through our dedicated bullying prevention curriculum.
A more peaceful, productive society is within reach for your students.