By: Rorisang Tisane
Bullying can happen to anyone, anywhere.
Children are bullied by being shunned and taunted all the time whilst schools do nothing about it. Rather, their response to this occurrence is to classify this behaviour as being “mean” and to simply implore bullies to stop being “mean”. This is a huge understatement when trying to describe and address bullying.
I confess that I have bullied my friends in primary school. I didn’t even notice this until now that being mean is actually emotional bullying and I am definitely not proud of this. I want to change my ways and write a new chapter to help those being bullied and those that are bullies. I lacked the skill of self-control. I’ve always wanted to boss people around just to feel superior. This had nothing to do with the friends I had. Rather, the desire for superiority came from within me.
Bullying was seen as a natural part of childhood whilst in actual fact, it is a destructive force in many lives of children. Bullying attacks children’s self-esteem and well-being. Bullying is not new. What is new, is the awareness of the damage it causes. Bullying occurs frequently and it is upsetting and potentially damaging to both the person being bullied and the person witnessing it.
We have three types of bullying: Physical, which includes intimidation, threats, pushing, shoving, hitting, tripping, poking and so on; Emotional, which includes mockery, vulgar sounds directed at people, insults, inappropriate gestures and so on and relational, which includes shunning, slander, backstabbing, rejection and so on.
These types of bullying make kids feel sad, alone and scared. No kid should feel that way. Bullying creates an upsetting and distracting environment in which kids live, play, work and learn.
Children who have good, strong and positive relationships with their parents are most likely to handle bullying in an appropriate manner. The opposite is true for those whose parents aren’t the best role models, however, this is not the children’s fault.
It’s about time we empower and protect young people in their lives. I want to give young people a platform to speak up so I can help and protect them as much as I can. Write about your experiences, anonymously if it suits you, and send your story to my email address, @firstname.lastname@example.org using the hashtag #tellmeyourstory. I am confident that when we invest in addressing societal problems, such as bullying, we can make a change, especially for young people.
Rorisang Tisane is a highschool student, in Pretoria, Gauteng. She enjoys reading history books, politics and providing solutions to current challenges in South Africa. You can support her initiative by following the Instagram page: @vissionxmission or submitting questions and submissions to his email address @email@example.com
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vernac News.