• Beware the Bully: The Different Kinds and What You Can Do

    Psychologist Kathleena dela Rosa gives you the lowdown on bullying and what you can do about it.
    by Ines Bautista-Yao .
  • bullyOnce your child is in school, he has to learn how to fend for himself: doing schoolwork, eating his baon by himself, making friends, and sometimes even defending himself against so-called friends who are out to pick on him.

    Bullying is a common problem among children. According to psychologist Kathleena dela Rosa from the Ateneo de Manila University, there are different ways a child can be bullied.
    •    Physical - pushing, hitting, punching
    •    Verbal - name-calling, shouting
    •    Psychological - alienating such as saying, ‘we won't 'friend’ you’
    •    Threatening - this can be a combination of physical and psychological
    •     Cyberbullying - happens on social networking sites

    Dela Rosa says bullying in preschool doesn’t usually get as serious as it often does in the higher levels. “I have seen some nursery girls do the alienation ‘we won't friend you’ routine. As for physical bullying, kids in preschool have a tendency to get physical as they don't have as much verbal prowess to have their needs known,” she says. However, she adds that for an act to qualify as ‘bullying’ it has to go beyond one-time incidences. “Bullying has to have the additional requirement of regularity—meaning, that one person regularly picks on a certain person.”


    Why the bullying?
    As much as bullies get a bad rap, dela Rosa says their actions stem from fear. “Even if it's a bit counterintuitive, bullies do what they do so that they will be accepted—so that they will have a sure set of people who will always be with them. They do this out of fear of being the next target themselves.”

    At the same time, bullies look for children who are what she calls “easy targets,” usually the kids who are different from everyone else. The bully’s followers will easily understand why that child shouldn’t be a part of their group. However, there are also some bullies who just bully everyone.

     

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