Last Updated on 03/23/2023 by Sophia
Bullying instances are shared among numerous students, so it is normal for a child to
encounter bullying and wonder about its nature. This situation forces them to ask difficult
questions that require relevant answers. One out of 5 students experiences bullying in America.
With the prevalent cases of school bullying, it is advisable to train people on dealing with bullies,
preventive measures, and the signs of a bully, especially children who are naturally curious
human beings. Parents or teachers should ensure that children receive relevant feedback when
inquiring about bullying and address all the fears and stereotypes concerning bullying. The
strategy plays a crucial role in nurturing and empowering children to better citizens or societal
members. They will be able to help themselves and others in dealing with aggressive situations.
According to child development theories, children nurture their knowledge concerning the world
as they grow and mature. They tend to ask diverse questions based on their age groups to fill the
cognition gap. This paper discusses school bullying to three children aged 5, 9, and 13,
respectively. Each child exists in a diverse stage of cognitive development and needs varying
levels of in-depth explanation. Besides, explanations are founded on Piaget's theory, language
development, and information processing views.
13-year-old Sharon attends a similar school with two younger siblings, John (9) and
Natasha (5). One evening while returning home, these children observed one of the older boys
insulting, shoving, and pushing a younger boy. They saw other students enjoying the incident
and also making fun of the bullied one. The children were curious about the experience, but they
were unable to assist the boy. Each child wants to know the cause of such instances and prevent
or help others in such situations.
It is vital to first examine every child's cognitive stage (milestone) before articulating an
explanation. The parent should also understand the mechanisms each uses to understand bullying
better and how to approach the conversation. All three children have a likelihood of using
mechanisms such as Piaget's equilibrium. In this case, they assimilate and accommodate new
information before shaping them into schemas within the mind, and information processing
theories' encoding and generalization (Ojose, 2008). The variance will occur on how best every
child can apply their active memory to translate their observations and ultimately articulate new
ideas concerning the bullying incident. It is also critical to assess the language's complexity that
the parents should use in communicating with every child (Indrayani, 2016). Notably, parents
should beware that their tone, reactions, and facial expressions might affect the learning
procedure (Goldin-Meadow, 2019). Based on these considerations, a parent can formulate three
diverse truthful, precise, and respectful explanations.
5-Year Old Natasha Question and Explanation
Is the young boy a bad person?
Natasha is in Piaget's preoperational stage. Her ideas are more selfish, and her questions
might be about herself and her existence. She might also focus on the state. For example, the
young boy's beating implies he was a bad person and victim to transductive reasoning,
suggesting that she made the boy be beaten (Ojose, 2008). Natasha cannot understand
complicated opinions or identify all details, and it is vital to remember her fear of being a bad
person. Therefore, she should be assured of safety. However, she is interested in understanding
the causes of the incident. Still, it is advisable to offer an incident explanation using simple
language that she can easily understand at her younger age. She also has a limited syntax and
active memory developments. Therefore, the description should be brief to capture her attention
and focus. The tone ought to be positive and respectful. She should also be advised on what to do
when a similar event occurs in the future.
Natasha, the young boy, is not a bad person. The students were bullying him. It was not
because of you, okay? You see, all of us should live peacefully with one another as we stay in our
family. Peace creates good friendships with other people. However, some people enjoy
disturbing other people because of their age (Jan & Husain, 2015). The older boy is one of them
since he was insulting, the younger one. His action is terrible and causes pain. You should report
such an incident to the teacher and get away from the place not to hurt you (Seale, 2004).
However, such people cannot hurt you if you stay with your sister and brother all the time.
9-Year-Old John Question and Explanation
What are the causes of bullying?
John is in Piaget's concrete operational stage. His cognition is higher than Natasha's. In
this case, John enjoys details and understanding cause-and-effect links. He can follow various
steps because of his sizeable active memory and might have basic knowledge concerning
bullying (Ojose, 2008). However, he still fears being a victim of bullying and needs safety
assurance. Association and generalization can assist in building his basic knowledge. Although
the parent can use complex sentence structure, explaining bullying should be simple to make him
interested. Besides, children in concrete operational cannot understand imagined situations well,
so real past experienced should be applied.
John, it seems you understand bullying. Can you tell me more about bullying? Bullying
refers to an aggressive behavior where one person becomes a subject of lies or rumors, or the
person is called names or insulted by other students. The bully is always older and more robust
than the victim. Do you remember that time when a more senior student abused you at school? It
was a painful experience, wasn't it? Bullying occurs like that. Remember being bullied is never
your mistake (Vople et al., 2013). You need to avoid bad company and always report any case of
bullying to teachers. Bullying hurts the victims, and they often require assistance from people
around them (Jan & Husain, 2015). Most bullies often have anger, disappointments, stress,
sadness, and tend to pass the feelings to weaker people (Smith, 2013). Therefore, bullies have
serious challenges compared to the victims.
13-year old Sharon Question and Explanation
What are the effects of bullying? How can it be prevented?
Sharon is in the formal operational stage, according to Piaget, and she needs additional
facts (Ojose, 2008). At this level, Sharon can understand abstract and hypothetical incidences
and mature in perspective-taking. She is more curious concerning the victim's feelings during the
bullying incidence. She can also reason hypothetically concerning the future that prompted her to
ask the preventive strategies for bullying. The parent can now engage in long conversations and
advanced terminologies since Sharon has a large working memory and can control her
understanding in a conversation. The parent should explain possible signs of a bully and remind
her that no one chooses to be bullied. Besides, association and generalization can help relate the
shock of bullying experiences to her daily challenging tasks. The parent could further book an
appointment with the school counselor to allow Sharon to explore in-depth explanations
concerning bullying. It is vital to assure her of safety since she can have safety concerns from
Sharon, the bullying experiences seem to have affected you, and you are concerned about
preventing such incidences. What do you know about bullying? Have you ever experienced such
incidences before? Have you ever been bullied? How was the experience? Bullying is severe and
scary, but with proper prevention techniques, no one should be fearful. Bullying occurs for
people who appear helpless and a weakling. Bullies take advantage of such students to satisfy
their ego and stressful lifestyles (Jan & Husain, 2015). Most bullies are people with challenging
backgrounds, such as abusive parents. They tend to bully others because they have also been
bullied. Some even engage in drugs and other aggressive behaviors (Jan & Husain, 2015).
However, confrontation is the first defense against bullying. The victim should assume or reject
the bully's threats (Pacer, 2016). Secondly, students should operate in open places where they
can seek help when bullied. Thirdly, they should also report any bullying incidence to teachers.
Fourth, students should have a strong social circle that might scare the bully. I promise to
safeguard you always from bullies, but I will suggest we visit the counselor to gain an in-depth
understanding of bullying.
Adults should learn proper communication techniques in explaining scary situations such
as school bullying to children as they grow and develop cognitive understandings. Child
development theories such as processing theories, Piaget's theory, and language development
theories are vital in formulating these explanations. I suggested three diverse reasons for bullying
for children aged 5, 9, and 13. The explanations became complex with the increase in age and
considered feelings and imaginary conditions. The language used also advanced as children
learned other words alongside large active memory. Parents should always be truthful despite the
age. However, the level of truth depends on the child's cognitive stage and capacity to
understand. It is also advisable to reassure children of their safety since the topic is bullying.
Therefore, they will learn that bullying is a scary situation that requires everyone's assistance.
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Indrayani, K. (2016). Language Development at Early Childhood. International Conference on
Education (IECO) Proceeding.
Jan, A. & Husain, S. (2015). Bullying in Elementary Schools: Its Causes and Effects on
Students. Journal of Education and Practice, 6(19): 43-56
Ojose, B. (2008). Applying Piaget’s Theory of Cognitive Development to Mathematics
Instruction. The Mathematics Educator, 8(1): 26-30.
Pacer. (, 2016). Help Your Child Recognize the Signs of Bullying. Pacer Center Inc.
Seale, A. (2004). The 411 Bullying. The George Washington University.
Smith, P. (2013). School Bullying. Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas, 71, 81-98.
Vople, J et al. (2013). Bullying At School: Recommendations for Teachers and Parents.