Garaña: The case of bullying

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By Cindy Ruiz Garaña, R.N.

Women's World

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Dear Cindy,

It came to my notice that in recent years, there is much talk about “bullying.” A friend of mine shared his experience about being bullied as a child because of his being overweight. This brings to mind similar incidents like the gun-poking at the Colegio de San Agustin, the suicide of an 11-year-old student due to bullying, the hazing deaths of some law freshmen, all just months apart.

These events have also brought into minds the questions: “Do children, who are bullies when they are young, also end up being bullies when they are adults?” What can we do to prevent this from happening to one of our family member?

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Dinah


Dear Dinah,

Bullying is a common occurrence today. Mostly it happens in schools, but can even be found in places like the playground, in playgroups, or even in the comfort of one’s home, as in the case of cyber-bullying.

Bullying can be defined as the selective uninvited, intentional, often repetitive oppression of one person by another person or group. Bullies bully because they do not feel loved and capable. They seek attention. They want to prove that they are superior. And they want to cover up for their low self-esteem. In some cases, they are exposed to poor modeling at home. One must try to analyze and understand the background of those who resort to bully-like behavior. Remember that “kids are sponges.” So when parents or other people in authority shout, insult or bully other people, this is the behavior that they will also pick up.

Parents should build a foundation of respect especially among family members, and to show leadership by example. To prevent bullying from happening to your
child, you can give your kids both quantity and quality time, and affirm the good they do, instead of focusing on the negative. Read your child’s cues to see if they might be victims of bullying. Parents should pay attention to both their verbal and non-verbal ways of communicating with their kids. They should also try to withhold their comments and opinions and keep calm and composed when listening to their kids.

Most important of all, parents should develop their children’s self-confidence and help them have a healthy self-worth. For children who are bullied, they need to know that bullies can sense if you’re confident or not. “So be a tough cookie—bullies will tend to ignore you.” Parents can also encourage their children to develop their own talents and be more sociable and assertive. Kids must grow “roots and wings.”

God bless,

Cindy

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 29, 2015.

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