The Target

There are many reasons why a student is targeted

  • Wrong place/wrong time
  • They react and become upset, angry, sad —–they don’t realise that this makes a bully happy!
  • They don’t take effective action to block the bully because they have been given the wrong advice by adults like, “ Do nothing, walk away, tell the bully to stop because you don’t like it!
  • Have poor social or assertive skills
  • Limited support network- their friends do nothing to stop the bully (I don’t know why they call them friends)
  • Over protective parents- there is a good reason which you can find out, read (Bully Blocking)
  • Don’t know how to block mean kids
  • Special child/over protected
  • Can’t stand up for themselves and be assertive,
  • Experience severe life stressors, (eg parents difficulties, financial problems) which interfere with their ability to develop social resilience, protect themselves, show empathy to others or use feedback about their behaviours which upsets others.
  • Some children believe in justice and fight back. “How dare they tease me?” “He started it.”
  • Sensitive children expect others to treat them as carefully as their families do. Whereas other kids don’t care how they feel and take advantage of the target’s vulnerabilities to play the bully game.
  • Some expect to be treated with respect and regard to their feelings but have no interest in how they use, abuse or treat others. The other child retaliates and bullies back.

Injuries or Damage- The target can be affected at school: look for physical, psychological, cognitive, social and identity symptoms!

  • Trauma based research ( Dan Seigel) “Abuse related trauma has a significant impact on the developing brain. It can result in children experiencing significant difficulties regulating their emotions, adapting their behaviour and being attuned to social exchanges. This can lead to a fundamental challenge for children to experience safety and engage in relational exchanges that support them. “
  • The target can be injured emotionally, physically, academically and socially.
  • Bullying can change their brain and personality.
  • They can lose motivation, concentration and their schoolwork suffers.
  • This may affect their choice of career.
  • They experience poor self-esteem, physical health difficulties, anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, depression, suicide attempts (some are completed) and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Bullying can lead to shyness, social isolation or a social phobia.
  • Children who are victims of bullying may become school refusers.

The damage can affect targets of school bullying later on:

  • The victim’s choice of partner, career, social life, physical and mental health can be affected over a long period of time.
  • Adults who were severely victimised at school can be less successful in achieving satisfactory intimate relationships.
  • Some victims are bullied later on while at work.

Evelyn M. Field, OAM is available for consultation by phone, Skype or FaceTime.
Email: efield@bullying.com.au to make an appointment.

The Target