Friday, November 12, 2010

Thoughts of a Bullied Child

by Saoirse O'Mara

Many children don't tell anyone when they are harassed by peers or maybe even teachers. The question is: Why not? Is their fear so great that they rather put up with their bullies?

Let's have a look inside the head of a bullying victim:

They have hit me again at school. Why can't they just stop? I have done nothing to them ... and my teachers don't say anything. But when I tell them about it, the bullying will only get worse.

I don't want to go to school. I'm sick, my head aches, I feel terrible ... when I only think about school, I want to cry. Why do my parents force me to go to school? Can't they see that I'm suffering?

I wished someone would notice how I feel ... I can't tell anyone. I'm afraid they won't believe me. Why can't mom just hug me once?

Many victims of bullying are afraid - either of their parents (that they don't believe them, that they get angry with their children for being so "weak", ...) or their bullies. That's why they often don't say anything about their suffering. Instead, their bodies send signs: headaches, sickness, depressions.

It is essential that both parents and teachers watch out for signs of bullying because the victims are caught in their fear and won't seek help on their own.

Anyone can become a victim of bullying. The best thing parents can do to prevent bullying is to help their children grow to be self-conscious and develop strong personalities and empathy. Bullies tend to choose victims who seem weak for some reason or other. Weak persons are less likely to defend themselves and thus it is more satisfying for the bullies to harass their victim.

Let's listen to the thoughts of a bullying victim again after someone noticed that he is bullied:

I'm so glad they asked me ... now I could finally tell them. They really want to help me and find a solution with me.

Mom has comforted me all evening after she found out. I'm feeling better now even though we don't know what to do next. At least I'm not alone anymore.

Talk to your children! Most victims won't talk to you unless you ask them but they will be glad when they have finally told you the truth!


  1. That's so true. Sadly, the physical signs of being bullied often just look like a child who doesn't want to go to school. Parents might think they just want to stay home rather than understanding what's really going on.
    Great post! Just another reason that the lines of communication MUST stay open. Parents can even start a conversation by telling their children about how bullies were when they were a kid. This prevents the kids from feeling questioned, but can lead to a very productive conversation.

  2. Fantastic advice! I think sometimes, too, parents aren't as supportive as the child needs them to be because parents don't realize what a huge issue it is for the child. Parents sometimes give advice like, "Don't pay any attention to them," or "Just ignore that silly stuff." What parents have to realize is that that's the child's whole social world - not easy to ignore or "not pay attention" to. As adults, we know that we'll grow up and put our elementary/middle/high school years behind us and in the end, it won't matter that much, but children don't have the life experience yet to know that.

  3. Thanks for your comments! I know how bullied children feel from my own experience as a child and want to help children who are now suffering ...


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