Bullying is a serious threat to Malaysian children today. The Star reported that 8 and 10 children in Malaysia face bullying in school. The statistics were based on the nationwide survey conducted by Kindness Project in 2018, in collaboration with WOMEN: girls and Unicef.
What’s bullying? raisingchildren.net.au defines bullying as when someone deliberately and repeatedly upsets, frightens, threatens or hurts someone else or their property, reputation or social status.
All forms of bullying are hurtful. Bullying can have negative short and long-term consequences for not only the victim but also the bully.
Short term consequences for the victim can include:
- Social isolation
- Feelings of shame
- Sleep disturbance
- Changes in eating habits
- Low self-esteem
- School avoidance
- Symptoms of anxiety
Short term consequences for the bully can include:
- Poor school performance
- Difficulty maintaining social relationships
- Increased risk of substance abuse
Long-term risks of bullying for the victim can include:
- Chronic depression
- Suicidal thoughts
- Anxiety disorders
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Poor general health
Long-term effects of bullying for the bully can include:
- Risk of spousal or child abuse
- Risk of antisocial behaviour
- Substance abuse
- Less likely to be educated or employed
If you think your child is being bullied, look for these signs.
a) At school, your child might:
- Reluctant to go to school; s/he constantly make excuses not to go.
- S/he unhappy if not anxious before or after school
- S/he is afraid of school
- S/he is not doing very well at school
b) Emotional signs:
- S/he becomes more isolated from others.
- You notice some obvious changes in his/her behaviour (i.e. anxiety, have trouble sleeping._
- S/he has low self-esteem.
The Star Online. (1969, December 31). Eight in 10 kids face bullying. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/20/eight-in-10-kids-face-bullying-survey-finds-many-calling-for-laws-to-protect-victims-and-witnesses/.
Teenage bullying: what to look for and how to help. (2017, December 11). Retrieved from https://raisingchildren.net.au/pre-teens/behaviour/bullying/teen-bullying.
Short Term and Long Term Effects of Bullying: Psychological & Societal. (2018, September 26). Retrieved from https://www.psycom.net/effects-of-bullying