Singapore is ranked third, for bullying in schools, globally. Students in Singapore experience more bullying than in other countries.
There are six categories of bullying in school:
- being left out,
- being made fun of,
- being threatened,
- having belongings taken by others,
- being hit/ pushed around, and
- having nasty rumours about them being spread.
They were also ranked according to: never or almost never to once a week or more. This research was released from Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa), a three-yearly study run by the OECD.
There are three elements to bullying:
- Aggressiveness and intended harm on others,
- Repetition, and
- Power imbalance.
Studies show that 20.4% of the children aged between 2 to 5 have experience in physical violence. 14.6% of them are verbally bullied by teasing. Another study conducted amongst 4 year olds shows that 24% of them are bullies, 22% are victims and 2% are bullies/victims.
Bullying is more likely to happen when the teachers are biased, or when schools are lacking in their disciplinary climate. Teachers who are unfair may cause the student’s self-confidence to drop, resulting in bullies asserting their superiority over this vulnerable group of students.
There is prevailing data which shows the inverse relation between the age of children and rate of bullying (i.e. as children grow older, the rate of bullying decreases). Bullying occurs within younger children.
Boys are prone to physically bully than girls. Victims in school tend to have fewer friends and this may seem that the victim is vulnerable.
When one is insecure, they tend to seek confidence through gaining control of others which results to bullying. In work place, bullying does not seem obvious as adults are deemed to be able to take care of themselves. Another example of bullying be it from school or work place may be that a person’s work is not credited or when social support is missing.
Parents support is important to children. Many children find it hard to raise up bullying in school, as they think that adults will not help them. By listening and communicating, it will ensure safety of the child. In order to make sure our children are healthy emotionally and physically, there are some ways we can help them:
- Reporting the incident to the authorities
- Spotting the bullies
- Encouraging children to express their feelings when they are uncomfortable in any situation
- Lending a listening ear
- Looking out for signs of depression in children
Do take note of your children’s behaviour as it he/she may be heading to the wrong direction while out of your sight.