In schools, children often suffer physical or psychological terror from the other kids. This phenomenon occurs for both girls and boys. Victims are mostly primary school children. Such interdependence between adolescents' is referred to as a “bullying” by scientists. “Bullying”, means a physical or psychological terror on a child by his/her classmates or the group of other children. Those who “bully”, aim to intimidate and subdue their victims.
Adults often find it difficult to identify the bullying. They assume the child's real aggression as a game, this aggression is considered to be a natural part of child’s development, and mildly call the aggressive children as bullies. They tend to forget that this attitude may cause an irreparable physical or mental harm to the victim. Specialists believe that after violence youngster cannot be quickly cured, he/she might suffer a constant fear, anxiety, feel humiliated or depressed, his/her self-esteem can worsen. Besides the physical and psychological terror, the victims often miss the lessons, are late from the lessons, his/her academic standing worsens. Such children avoid participation into school public events, losing friends among their classmates. More than that - mental trauma may be receives by a child, which has not experienced violence directly, but has witnessed a terror. Such child is afraid of not to become a victim of the aggressor in the future.
Scientists believe that children-initiators of a bullying continue to demonstrate aggression in their adulthood, and often choose a criminal way of life.
Any child can be a victim of bullying, as well as its initiator. Psychologists emphasize some typical feature of character and behavior style of the victim and the aggressor. A child-victim tries to be unnoticed, small and weak in comparison to his/her peers; in case of a risk of he/she immediately becomes frightened, cries, looks miserable and unhappy. The majority of the time, even breaks, and the child-victim spends in a classroom, avoiding the noisy gathering of his/her peers. A child-victim may present with some medical complaints, such as restless sleep, headache or abdominal pain, loss of appetite.
The child-aggressor constantly tries to look leader and strong. Frequently he/she is rude to the teachers, parents, and with his/her siblings. In relationships between the individuals or in games, a child-aggressor recognizes only force, brutality, and demonstrates them all the times. He/she gives priority to s forcible way of resolving any conflict. Sometimes these children are unsociable, and less communicative, but occasionally reveal unmotivated anger.
According to psychologists, a child expresses an aggression towards his/her peer because he/she wants to get an attention. He/she has an excessively good or a bad idea about himself/herself and he/she is not capable of friendship, not capable of feeling guilty, as well as the ability to understand another person's feelings, or, simply, he/she is bored.
Advice of Psychologists
If you notice that, the child is a victim bullying:
- Help him/her to elaborate the confidence. Therefore, thoroughly encourage him/her in any extracurricular activity, for example, passion of sports and music, participation in theatre circle and other activities, which he/she likes. Self-confident children rarely become objects of aggression from the peers;
- Teach a child to demonstrate his/her self-confidence. For example, teach him/her that in conflict situations, he/she should not drop his/her eyes and look aside, but calmly and quietly look into the aggressor’s eyes and clearly say, for example, such words: "Stop it! I do not like what you are doing”; and then not to pay attention to the aggressor’s derisive tone and walk away without saying a word, with dignity
- Encourage a child to keep friendly relationship with the other children. Children who prefer to stay alone more often become the victims of aggression. The simplest way to expand the scope of the child's relationship is his/her involvement in various hobby groups or circles, also to invite the other children at home. Friendly relations increase the feeling of dignity and self-confidence;
- Advise and allow the child to participate in excursions, walking tours, etc.. During such events, there is much less danger of aggression, because the children are under adults’ supervision;
- Teach the child a body language. Watching into the eyes of the interlocutor, standing upright, with head up, hands down, a decided voice – are the very effective weapons against the child-aggressor. Demonstrate and teach your children these poses and ways;
- Discuss the problem of bullying with other parents. It is quite possible that other children can be the victims of the aggression as well. If you find out their names, discuss the problem along with their parents too;
- Share your concerns about child safety with the management of school. Psychologists consider this action as an extreme, but very effective way. You may require the strengthening of control over the children over the entire territory of the school and the corridors during the break. Specialists claim that such measures reduce the likelihood of a bullying during child's stay at school.
If a child behaves aggressively toward his/her peers or younger children, the psychologists recommend taking it seriously and with a very big responsibility. Such behavior should not be considered as childish pranks, because in the absence of timely correction, it could become a way of life. It is possible to change the child’s aggressive behavior exactly in childhood.
- Explain to a child that you will not tolerate his/her aggressive behavior, regardless of towards whom it is directed to. Set specific and strict limitations, which you will use in case of repeating bullying;
- Teach a child the constructive methods to achieve a goal, based on various methods of solving the problem of non-violent manner. Elaborate and use the same methods by the way of examples of your own communication;
- Show an example of positive behavior. Observing you a child will learn a benevolent attitude and respect towards those around him/her. Create the models of the situations that are similar to those situations where the child's aggression was exposed. Show a child the other ways of solving the problems and achieving the goals without mental (threats, insults), or physical violence towards the other people around him/her;
- Strengthen a control of the child. Try to be close to him/her when he/she is playing with other children. Encourage him/her to participate in sporting competitions, hobby circles, and other extracurricular activities. Such workload would contribute to spend a child's excessive energy in a civilized and socially safe way, and significantly reduce his/her aggression;
- In complicated cases, advise the specialist-psychologist. There are special methods that help the child to understand the reasons of aggressive behavior, and to learn the ways of management and regulation of these problems.
Peaceful Resolution of Conflict
You can discuss the issue as follows:
- What happened? (Ask the kids to tell us how they perceived the case). Listen to every version - how and why the bullying started, and what role was played the children who were not actively involved in bullying;
- How the observation of “bullying” could influence the aggressor child;
- What the children feel while observing the fact of bullying, and what do they feel now;
- According them what a child who suffered the bullying feel;
- In what way they could stop the bullying;
- What they can do now so that the victim of bullying feel better;
- How to behave in similar situations again. Show the children the way to a peaceful settlement of the conflict.
The case of bullying you can discuss in class. According to scientists, in this case it is important not to take an "accusatory position" and to looking for a guilty person, but to find out what happened, and what the role each child played in that situation. Refrain from question "why".