It’s no secret that victims of bullying suffer from low self-esteem. After so long having been told that they aren’t good enough, victims begin to believe it themselves. A condition, known as “Learned Helplessness” develops…victims simply give up on everything, including their studies, and either stop trying altogether or they do just enough to pass their classes by the skin of their teeth.
This was me when I was in school and a victim of relentless bullying: I did just enough to get by.
I did not make plans to go to college like most kids my age did. Instead, my only goal was to marry the first guy who made me laugh and settle down to start a family after high school. Because my self-esteem had been battered and bruised, being a wife and mother were the only things I thought I would be good at.
Yeah, I know…pathetic huh?
What’s worse is that in most cases, this happens on a subconscious level, without the victim even being aware of it.
Another reason is that a target of bullying is in a constant state of alert. Because of the threat of attack, the victim’s mind is continuously flooded with ways to protect themselves and hyper-vigilance keeps the body in a state of panic, taking away the ability to concentrate on schoolwork. Success can never be reached in a vacuum!
Here is an excerpt from my book, giving an example of how my grades skyrocketed once I transferred schools and escaped my tormentors:
“…By the end of the week, report cards went out. Ever since I had arrived at Roseburg High School, my schoolwork seemed to have magically, almost overnight, gotten easier and I noticed an instant change in my grades since I had left Oakley High School. In the past, while attending school in Oakley, a typical report card for me would be mostly B’s, C’s, and a few D’s. Miraculously, starting the very day I arrived at Roseburg High School, my grades took a dramatic jump from B’s, C’s and D’s to mostly A’s with a B or two. For the first time in five years, I made the honor roll and it felt so amazing!
I look back now and I realize that because I had gotten out of that poisonous environment which was Oakley, my grades had taken such a tremendous boost it was almost unbelievable. And they continued to soar for the remainder of the school year. How I wished I had moved much sooner than I had!
It was nothing short of incredible, how quickly everything…and I mean everything took a turn for the better! My grades, social life, physical and mental well-being, everything just totally flipped! Things took a complete one hundred and eighty degree turn around and were entirely opposite of the way they had been in Oakley. I cannot begin to describe the happiness and peace I felt at Roseburg High…”
There are ways that parents can help their children become more successful in school. Our environments do affect our outlooks, which then affects our levels of success. Although not always feasible, I believe that the best thing to do for your child is either a transfer or home school. Also, give them constant praise at home to make up for and counter the vicious attacks your son/daughter gets at school and it will keep their confidence from completely tanking.
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone.