South Africa 18.3.2016 04:21 pm

Violence turns kids into bullies: child psychologists

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

A six-year-old boy nearly drowned in a stream after being pushed in by an older child in Polokwane on Tuesday in an alleged act of bullying.

Exposing children to violence often leads to them not knowing how to properly deal with anger, which in turn can lead to bullying, child psychology experts have said.

This comes after a six-year-old boy nearly drowned in a stream after being pushed in by an older child in Polokwane on Tuesday in an alleged act of bullying.

According to the younger child’s parents, the boy did not arrive home from school at the usual time and they began worrying. The boy’s school mate approached the parents and told them their son was being beaten up again by a seven-year-old and needed help, Review Online reported.

“We followed her to the stream. As we arrived, we saw a man pulling him out of the water. He told us when he arrived there, two boys were running down the street screaming that a boy had been killed,” the boy’s mother said, adding her son had been floating face-down in the water.

The boy was resuscitated and rushed to the Pietersburg Provincial Hospital where he spent the night for observation. It is believed he will make a full recovery, his mother said.

Johannesburg-based child psychologist Cristine Scolari said bullies often had been treated in a violent manner themselves, or witnessed constant violence either in their homes or communities.

“A child who is bullied himself by others or treated aggressively at home or in the community often turn to bullying. Some children are impulsive and have not learnt empathy – how to put themselves in another person’s shoes,” Scolari said.

Another child psychologist, Jenny Da Silva, said some parents failed to teach their children correct ways to deal with anger.

“At times, parents are not sure of how to discipline their children and because of this, either let their children get away with bad behaviour or use incorrect discipline techniques such as severe hitting or name-calling,” she said.

– Caxton News Service

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