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This report will be looking at the theoretical and historical perspectives of childhood. Furthermore, it will compare theories of atypical development and possible effects on individuals, besides it considers the changing role of the rights of children and young people. The area that this report will be discussing is bullying, which is one of the main issues in children's development.
What is bullying?
Each day, countless children begin the day with the feeling and fear of being bullied. Bullying is when someone or a number of people constantly devalue others. It involves actions and behaviours that are unsociable, physical and verbal abuse are examples.
There are some reasons why some children bully:
They maybe bored and think bullying is fun.
The background and situations that they're brought up in.
"A negative basic attitudeâ€¦ increases the risk that the boy will later become aggressive and hostile toward others" (Olweus,D 1993)
They think that they'll become more popular.
Some are upset and they feel like they want to pass on this anger by bulling instead of dealing with it themselves.
Some believes that violence gives them feelings of belongings, status and power.
Bandura (1973) suggested that "children's aggressive behaviour is rewarded with status from their peers".
Some believes violent behaviour is one of the solutions to resolve conflict.
Effects of bullying on children
Bullying can seriously harm children in many ways. It affects their emotional health, which induces depression and makes them miserable and frightened all of the time. Bullying also makes children stubborn and distrustful, it makes them bad tempered, feeling helpless, hopeless; this causes loss of their self confidence, self esteem, and leaves them feeling guilty. As a result this also has an extreme effect on physical health for the worst, it may lead to: weight loss, obesity, self harm, hair loss, skin conditions, anorexia, lack of energy, insomnia, illness, bowel movements and lack of personal hygiene. Moreover, this has a great influence on a child's social life and causes them to not get involved with other groups of children. This causes children to stay indoors and prevents them from communicating with other children and causes loneliness. Bullying can cause children to even commit suicide and negatively shape them into adult criminals. Furthermore, it affects their achievement and attendance and influences them in a negative way which leads to a poor educational performance.
There were two examples of children, those who were bullied by other children at school and those who weren't. The research showed that those who had been bullied developed with a lower self-esteem and self-confidence and high-levels of depression in comparison to those who had never been bullied before.
The National Conference of State Legislatures states: "In 2002, a report released by the U.S. Secret Service concluded that bullying played a significant role in many school shootings and that efforts should be made to eliminate bullying behaviour"
Effects of bullying on the bullies
Bullying, whether it's, intellectual, physical, emotional or social causes a variety of long and short term effects for the bully as well as the victim. Later on, the bully starts to lose his/her power, his/her self esteem will decrease and he/she end up being a social withdraw, and Due to his/her lack of ability to deal with violence he/she may face many problems in relationships later in his/her life. Moreover, they'll have a greater risk of being involved in crime and the abusing of drugs.
History of bullying
Research on history shows that help for bullying has only started over the past decade. In the past, some children used to bully others and there wasn't a sufficient amount of help available for victims of bullying like the anti bullying campaigns around these days. Unfortunately bullying still exists around the world and didn't really change over time, the one change is, that there's now more people have an understanding about it. There are now many organisations available for children which protect them from bullying. Child line is an organised charity established in the 1980s to help children with any problems that they may face.
Around 60 years ago children didn't get much help whilst they were being bullied. This is because teachers didn't bother with pupils compared to our days at school where they're all the time and on the look out for children that look sad and miserable. In the past, children didn't talk to parents because the majority of families were large, that children thought that they couldn't help. However, parents and schools are much more aware of the issues these days. In the past, some teachers didn't believe bullying is a serious issue which needs to be addressed; they basically thought the children are playing. In our era schools provide children with information and explanation of what it really feels to be bullied and how it may affect the victim and the bully itself.
Nowadays "a lot of schools have an anti-bullying policy in place that aims to protect students against harassment and abuse" http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/youngpeople/healthandrelationships/bullying/dg_10031374
The government is now enforced to set up an anti-bullying policy in all schools. They are now help lines and websites available for children, brochures and Leaflets are now given to parents providing them information and advice on how to stop bullying and how to discover how bullying occurs.
The anti bullying Alliance also set up in July 2002 the national society for the prevention of cruelty to children, to help create a secure atmosphere in which younger children will be able to live. In these day schools anti bullying policies encourage children to not suffer in silence.
Theories of bullying
Olweus, D (1993) states: "A student is being bullied or victimised when he/she is exposed repeatedly over time to negative action on the part of one or more other students."
According to olweus's (1993) theory: There are 3 different kinds of victims, provocative, passive or submissive. He states: "the passive victim signals to others that they're insecure and worthless individuals who will not retaliate if they're attacked or insulted".
According to (Tattum & Lane, 1989) the provocative victim is more confident and physically stronger than other victims. Throughout the work Olweus has done about bullying in schools, he found that male bullies are physically much stronger than their victims. Farrington (1992) believed that male bullies are likely to have kids who bully others in school.
Parents also play a significant role in children's life. The research illustrated that some victims have a closer relationship with their parents, especially boys with their mothers. This may perhaps be a reason and result of the bullying, because this relationship might be identified as "overprotection from the child's peers", and victim's mother doesn't provide the child with freedom. Therefore, the victim wouldn't be able to deal with his own problems.
One factor which causes some children to bully is the negative relationship between their parents, which could be influenced on them and their behaviour. Emery (1982) stated: "when parental conflicts are held in private, the less negative effects on the child". Magid (1989) stated: physically abused and neglected children would develop to be violence seeking adults. The most important aims of organisation must be "to reduce bully/victim problems in and out of the school setting and to prevent the development of new problems" (Olweus, D. 1993)
Why do children have right?
"Every child is unique - in characteristics, interests, abilities and needs; and every child has the ability to enjoy his or her rights without discrimination of any kind."(Thomas Hammarberg, 1997)
Every child has the right to be protected and be free from involvement in bullying. United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child prevents bullying and promotes a healthy development. Moreover, encourages children to build-up social skills, understanding and citizenship. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."
"The Children Act 1989 is designed to help keep children safe and well and, if necessary, help a child to live with their family by providing services appropriate to the child's needs".
There are several acts being introduced to protect people such as:
Disability discrimination Act
Racial discrimination Act
Sexual discrimination Act
Age discrimination Act
Gender discrimination Act
Religion discrimination Act
These acts are introduced to give people the right to live and not suffer or get humiliated. The right to have freedom of beliefs, speech and thoughts, the right not to be discriminated against for any reason and also the right to vote and educate.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states: "Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of the parent, legal guardian or any other person who has the care of the child".
Overall bullying has a negative effect on victims as well as the bullies for; this is a long term effect. It's a serious issue which can lead to unexpected conclusions. However, in our day's discrimination acts have come into place and provide a safe environment where children can live and learn without the feeling of fear. Hopefully, by putting these specific strategies into place bullying can be reduced and both the bully and the victim will be more contented.
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