Myths in bullying

Myth 1


Bullying is just a phase that the children outgrow eventually. All kids undergo bullying. It’s normal, acts as training to learn how to handle tough situations later in life and does not do much harm.

Bullying is an extremely dangerous issue that is very prominent today. It is not a phase. It is not a normal, everyday school scenario. Bullying has serious long term consequences, both for the person engaging in bullying behaviour and for the person being bullied. Research suggests that those who tend to bully others may be troublesome in their relationships later in life. Those who have been bullied may face concerns such as depression and anxiety.


Myth 2


Parents can always tell if their child is being bullied

Several studies show that nearly 1 out of 3 children often do not report to an adult if they are being bullied. This may be out of fear that if they complain to an adult, the bullying will get worse. A child may feel ashamed, powerless, and helpless. Children may also have the fear of being misunderstood or even blamed for the bullying. As such, it is not necessary that if your child is being bullied, you would definitely be aware of it. It is often crucial to stay on the lookout for signs of bullying, such as refusal to go to school, unexplained cuts or bruises, keeping to self, sudden change in behaviour, and so on.


Myth 3


The ‘Bully’ is a “bad kid”

Because a child bullies another child, he or she should not be labelled as a ‘bully’ or a ‘bad kid’. Many a times, a child who bullies learns to do so because someone else bullied him or her earlier. Bullying is one bad behaviour that a child may engage in, and we must be careful to label the behaviour as bad, instead of labelling the child. More often than not, a child who engages in such behaviours may completely stop with appropriate intervention.


Myth 4


The “Victim” does something to encourage the “Bully”

If a child gets bullied, it is NOT the child’s fault. The child does not “ask for it”. Many a times, children who get bullied are perceived as weak or different by the person bullying them. However, that does not mean that the child is indeed weak. Often, the child may not even be aware of the reason for the bullying. It is emotionally hard-hitting on a child when he or she is subjected to bullying, and as parents, it is important to support and encourage the child to become assertive, rather than to blame him or her for the uncalled-for bullying.


Myth 5


Most bullying refers to physical aggression

While pushing, hitting, punching, tripping are common manifestations of bullying, they are not the only forms children engage in bullying behaviour. Bullying can also include teasing, name-calling, using abusive words, spreading rumors, social exclusion, posting unwanted pictures or mean comments online, and so on. More often than not, bullying happens indirectly, and is not evidenced by any physical signs.


Myth 6


Cyber Bullying happens only in the western countries

Bullying is not just a concern of the western world - it is highly prevalent in India as well. In a survey by Microsoft, it was reported that 53% of the Indian children included in the survey had been bullied. Bullying is a major concern in our country, as more and more kids tend to fall prey to such activities, potentially causing long lasting psychological damange.

Myth 7

It’s easy to tell who bullies and who gets bullied

It is often assumed that only the “big kids” or the “popular kids” tend to be the “Bullies”. This may not necessarily true. A small kid may become a bully to show other kids how powerful he or she is. To bully someone on social media, it may not be necessary for a child to be either muscular or popular. Besides, the same kid may first get bullied and then bullying someone else. As such, the lines between the “bully” and the “victim” are often blurry and confusing.

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