Effects of labeling children
The effect of labeling children can be very destructive. Labeling children because of their behavior, labels such as stupid, bully, failure, you’re bad, ugly amongst other labels.
All through the day kids are involved in all types of behaviors. What can make them seem like a bully in one situation, can make them feel like a victim in another situation.
When we see a child acting In a hasty manner or negative behavior, we need to try to remember that the behavior is the problem, not the kid.
Negative labeling can let a person know that they are different from others, which causes them to shame as people. We need to remember that, identity and behavior are not one and/or the same.
When addressing bullying behavior the following points are important:
- when a child is labeled, it causes him/her to act the role. The most important step to being a bully is being labeled as one.
- You are assuming a child can not change when you label them. A label on a child is fixed. Truth be told, a child often wants to change and can change.
- in some situations a child could very well engage in bullying behavior, be a target, or a bystander. In other environments, they can be bullies to brothers/sisters or both but will be afraid of older kids.
- When a child is labeled as a bully, it takes attention away from finding the root of the reasons for their behavior such as social or environmental factors.
- When we label a child as a bully, it leads to an increase in bullying behavior. Being already labeled, in reaction to the label, the child acts out aggressively against others, or him/herself.
Internalization and reaction of the label “bully” will often lead to dis-identification with the school my child. When a kid is already labeled as a bully, teachers do not expect the child s full potential, so what happens? The child’s performance is poor, their kids may stop playing with the “bully”. If a child is feeling disconnected from school or rejected by peers, this can lead the child to identify with the ones that reward his/her behavior, other “bullies” this is how the forming of the subculture is formed.
What should be done instead of labeling?
the next five tactics can help to curb bullying behavior.
- Acknowledge that bullying behavior can be changed.
- do not shame the child, shame the behavior.
- tend to need of child who has been bullied acknowledge that harm has been done.
- consider the social and environmental that can be leading to the cause of bullying behaviors.
recognize that both those being victimized and those bullying are valued members of the school community. Both need support through participation in the community, counseling, or anti-bullying groups. A child who bullies is usually seeking help/attention, acceptance, or need of h friends.
When bullying behavior is addressed, it makes it clear to the child that under any circumstances is the bullying behavior acceptable nor will it be tolerated. Make sure that any interaction respective and supportive while not condoning the behavior. Kids need a safe place/space where they can change their behavior so they can be successful.
Kids can play many roles when it comes to bullying
Kids can sometimes bully others and be bullied or witness other kids being bullied. It is important to understand the different roles kids play to prevent and respond accordingly to bullying.
It is important not to label kids that are involved in bullying
Kids roles in bullying are not limited to those who bully others or those that are bullied
Most of the time these kids need some kind of support “such as counseling, group therapy, or some other type of Anti-bullying support” to change the way they behave.
Importance of not labeling kids;
when referring to a situation of bullying behavior it is so easy to label the bullies and victims, but that could cause unintended consequences.
When kids are labeled “victims” or “bullies” ;
- they may get the message that kids’ behavior can not change.
- they fail to realize the different roles kids play in different bullying situations.
- could easily disregard other factors that can be contributing to this bullying behavior such as school climate and /or peer influence.
Instead of putting labels on kids that are involved in bullying behavior, focus on their behavior for example;
- refer to the kid as “the one who bullied” instead of “bully”
- Instead of “victim” speak of them as “the kid that was bullied”
- instead of “victim/ bully” use the phrase “the kid who bullies others and gets bullied.”
Kids who are involved in bullying
a kid’s role in bullying behavior is not limited to those who bully others or those that are bullied.
Researchers talk about “the bullying circle” which defines:
both the directly involved and those passively or actively assist in the bullying or defend against it
direct roles of bullying, are but not limited to;
- kids who bully: these kids connect bullying behavior to their peers. There are risk factors that can contribute to the kids involved in bullying. Often these kids require support and/or counseling, to change the way that they behave and to talk about any other problems that can be influencing the
- Kids who are bullied; these are kids that bullying behavior targets. Some factors put kids more at risk of being bullied, but not all kids with these factors will be bullied. Kids often need guidance on learning how to deal with bullying. Even if a kid is not involved directly in the bullying behavior. They may be adding to the behavior, witnessing the behavior may also affect the kid. This is why they must learn what they should do when they see someone getting bullied. Roles played by kids when they witness bullying. Roles played by kids when they witness bullying.12 n him
- kids who assist; these kids are usually not the ones who start or lead in bullying behavior but acts as an assistant to kids who are bullying, they encourage the bullying and often join in.
- Kids who reinforce; these kids are not directly involved in this behavior, but they do give the bullying an audience. These kids will laugh and support the kid/s that are engaged in being a bully. This kind of audience will encourage bullying to continue
- Outsider: these kids separate themselves from the bullying situation. They neither support the bullying behavior nor do they defend the kid that is being bullied, some kids may watch what is going on but do not give any feedback on the situation, to show they are on anyone’s side. Although, providing an audience can encourage bullying behavior. These kids often want to help but don’t know-how. Learn how to be more than a Bystander.
- Kids that defend: these kids will actively comfort the kid that is being bullied and can come to the kid’s defense when bullying occurs.
Most kids play more than one role
most kids play more than one role in bullying situations over time. They can be directly involved in bullying behavior, as the one doing the bullying or be the one that is bullied or in other ways, they can be the witness or they can be the one that assists the one doing the bullying or they can be the one that defends,
every bullying situation is different. Some kids are both they are the ones that bully others and are themselves being bullied. It is very important to note the different roles kids play because those kids that are both being bullied and bully others may be more at risk for negative outcomes, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, and suicide.
This shows the need for all kids to engage in the efforts of prevention, not just for the kids that are known to be directly or indirectly involved.
The subject of bully prevention should be included in the school curriculum.
For all kids to be aware and know what to do in any bullying situation. Kids should never have to deal with bullying alone.