Communication with peers does not always go smoothly. For some children, school turns into a place where being unpleasant, humiliating and even scary. Anyone can become a victim of ridicule. How to respond correctly if you find out that a child is being harassed? The teacher-psychologist of the senior Lomonosov school Ekaterina Vitkovskaya tells.
Let’s make a reservation right away, it’s not about a one-time quarrel, when the child was hurt or offended, but after that everything returned to normal. And about the systematic and deliberate bullying by another child or group of children.
Statistics say that in Russia more than 50% of schoolchildren aged 9-15 have experienced aggression. At the same time, a third of children are embarrassed to talk about it.
It is important to understand that bullying cannot be stopped without the intervention of adults. The participation of parents, teachers, administration, possibly social workers is mandatory.
WHAT SIGNS MAY INDICATE BULLYING
Sometimes the child does not openly say that he is offended. A combination of the following factors may make you suspicious:
- The desire to go to school has disappeared, the thought of it causes panic or tears. Perhaps teachers tell you about absenteeism.
- Personal belongings disappear: the child began to return home without a hat, change of clothes, textbooks. We noticed that the clothes look shabby, in a sloppy condition.
- The child became isolated, stopped communicating with peers.
- To the question “How are things at school?” answers in monosyllables, does not want to share details, withdraws into himself.
- He scratches his hands, pulls his hair, constantly adjusts his clothes.
- The child has stopped eating at school, or has an excessively decreased/increased appetite.
HOW TO BE A PARENT
First of all: stay calm
An irritated and nervous mother, ready to run to defend justice and punish offenders, is not what a child needs now. It is important to demonstrate confidence, to show: “we can handle everything if we act together.” This will give the child a sense of safety and security.
If he himself came out to talk, say that you appreciate his frankness, he did the right thing by sharing with you. For children, this is not easy, they are afraid to seem vulnerable, weak, often feel a sense of shame. On the one hand, they do not want to upset their parents, on the other hand, they do not want to “set up” classmates and seem like sneaks. This makes it difficult to report a problem.
Second: figure out what happened
Explain the situation to yourself as much as possible. Ask the child questions about what happened, what specific events, what actions and by whom were taken.
Third step: contact the class teacher and ask for a personal meeting
Get as many facts as possible about the event: how the situation looks through the eyes of the teacher, what he noticed. You can also contact other teachers, those who are closest to the child, about whom he speaks positively, feels sympathy and trusts.
Fourth: Enlist the support of the administration
And call for a responsible group to be created, class hours to work with the whole class are organized.
And most importantly: support the child
The situation can be traumatic – he will begin to think that something is wrong with him, this will provoke the development of an inferiority complex. It is necessary to explain to him that he did nothing wrong and is not to blame for what is happening.
Create the maximum sense of security for your child at home. Try to develop in him confidence, friendship skills, communication skills, the ability to firmly and decisively say the word “no”. You can invite other boys and girls to visit, so that the child understands that not all children are bad, you can make friends with many. Let him have his own social circle – for example, on additional circles.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT A PARENT SHOULD NOT DO:
- Promise the child that it will be possible to keep the situation a secret. As already mentioned, bullying cannot be stopped without the intervention of adults.
- Involve parents of children who are involved in bullying. They are likely to take a defensive stance, to protect their children. This can lead to conflict between parents and will only aggravate the situation.
- Say: “Nonsense, do not pay attention”, “Ignore, they will fall behind.” The child shared the secret, you should not devalue it and brush it off.
- Tell the child that he is to blame. This will worsen relations with him and make him even more helpless in a situation of opposition with the guys who attack him.
- Support your child to fight back. Say that “need to answer.” The victim is usually always weaker than the offender. In a situation of bullying, this can put him in even more danger. Moreover, violence cannot be stopped by retaliatory violence.
- Claim that conflict builds character. But we are talking about bullying, and it breaks the psyche, hardens, leads to serious consequences in adulthood. A child cannot cope with bullying on his own.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TOGETHER WITH THE TEACHER IF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IS SUCCESSFUL:
- Call a spade a spade. As long as insults, physical threats, acts of a violent nature are not called by their proper names – bullying and harassment (and this is exactly what they are), it seems to everyone that nothing of this kind is happening, everyone can pretend that everything is in order and skip information over the ear.
- Organize class hours aimed at improving communication within the class, at the formation of class rules that support dialogue and constructive communication and prohibit actions of an aggressive nature.
- Ask teachers and administration to track the changes that occur in the classroom, monitor. A responsible adult should be appointed – a teacher, a social pedagogue, who will conduct a dialogue with the children and receive feedback from the students.
If the situation is critical, it cannot be solved and you see that the child is suffering, you should seriously think about transferring to a parallel class or changing schools. There you can start from scratch. Remember about positive reinforcement – tell them that in a new environment there will be an opportunity to make friends, go to an interesting circle.
And do not forget about psychological help, because even when the situation is over, it will continue to live inside the child. We need to help him deal with it.