*Warning* This article contains references to self-harm and suicide. Please proceed with caution if these topics bring up negative emotions or responses for you or those in your care.
If your child or adolescent student has, or is currently experiencing, bullying or mental health struggles and have expressed thoughts or actions relating to self-harm and suicidality, there is help available:
Australia has a bullying problem, with the statistics on bully.org.au showing year four to year nine Australian students make up 27% of national school attendees who report bullying as regularly as every few weeks; for some of these students, bullying is a daily occurrence—a troubling statistic indeed.
Statistics to be aware of
The most frequent bullying seems to occur among year five students, at 32%, closely followed by year eight students, at 29%.
With social media access and use becoming more prevalent among students, 83% claim they are being bullied online. Around 84% report they were being bullied online and in person, with peers present in 85% of the bullying interactions adding significantly to the negative impact it has on these bullied students.
Below we will look at what creates this disturbing and damaging culture of bullying in Australian schools and review why homeschooling can offer relief and potentially a permanent solution for bullied students across primary and high school demographics. Read on to find out more.
What is the definition of bullying?
Bullying involves targeted negative interaction from one student or a group of peers toward another student or a selected group.
Typical bullying behaviour could include, but is not limited to, the following behaviours:
- Namecalling, insults, mocking, belittling and similar verbal aggressions
- Spreading lies and falsities to get a target in trouble
- Physical aggression, such as hitting, pinching, punching, kicking, shoving, and more
- Theft of personal items
- Creating negative strategic social issues between the target and their friends and peers
- Rumours spreading and discrediting the target among the school’s populous
- Threatening physically or psychologically
These are some basic bullying concepts. However, any action from a bully to discredit, intimidate, harass, stress or cause ongoing abuse that has a negative effect on the targeted student could be considered bullying.
The high cost of chronic bullying in children
Bullying can severely impact almost every aspect of a child’s development. In extreme cases, it can continue to impact the individual well into adulthood, negatively affecting their professional opportunities and personal relationships.
Some common issues that are observed in bullied students include, but are not limited to:
- Negative and lasting impacts on mental, emotional and physical health and development
- Encourage negative introverted personality traits making the individual withdraw from social situations throughout their lives
- Create a potential trigger for ongoing depression and anxiety disorders that may require psychotherapy or pharmaceutical treatments
- Increase the chance of the student dropping out of education prematurely
In situations of extreme bullying, there have, unfortunately, been many cases where children and adolescent students have developed thoughts of suicidality, severely impacting the student’s development and creating a heavy burden for an entire family.
How homeschooling helps break the bullying cycle
Unfortunately, in some cases, for various complex reasons, a bullying scenario in a traditional school environment yields no solution, even after a range of interventions between students, parents and education professionals have been implemented.
In cases such as this, homeschooling can offer an education alternative that allows a child to rediscover a love of learning in a safe environment, free from the pressures of a traditional school dynamic, which may enable them to:
- Have a break from bullying and the associated pressures and stressors
- Have an opportunity to explore personal interests unfettered by their peers
- Gain adequate time for counselling, trauma processing and self-care
- and more
Spending more time learning with a caring parent in a safe environment can help a child who has suffered from the negative effects of bullying reestablish a good relationship with themselves and excel in their academic and personal development.
Lions Education: Leading the way for homeschooling in NSW
Our homeschooling experts at Lions Education are leading the way for next-generation homeschooling in NSW.
We provide comprehensive, tailored curriculums and support services for your homeschooling journey while helping parents and students connect to other homeschooling families in your community to provide all students with the support they need to excel academically and in their broader life.
If you are considering homeschooling as a potential education pathway for students in your care, register your expression of interest via our online registration form, and one of our helpful consultants will contact you promptly for further assessment.