The intervention of adults (parents, school and, in many cases, a professional) when solving the problem of bullying is essential. While it is distressing and painful for parents to learn that their son or daughter is a victim of bullying, the first step will be to talk to her and
make him tell what’s wrong
Lucrecia Morgan, clinical psychologist and director of the Argentina Anti Bullying Team (ABA), stresses: “If I suspect that my son is being bullied, it is important
for a first interview that can be with the managers or the guidance team, to update them and ask them for more information. Bullying is usually a situational diagnosis that takes time. ”
with school as well as containing their children,
and tell them that this is an important problem that adults are going to take care of (thus avoiding that the boys feel guilty and responsible for what is happening to them), are other tips that are usually given to the parents.
“Many times children do not tell what happens to them because of fear of their parents’ disapproval or because of embarrassment, or because their parents are very anxious about this issue,” says Morgan. “So it is always important as adults to stay calm, allow them to let off steam without interrupting them.
Our emotional stability will give them confidence
. As painful as it is for us, we must convey to the children the assurance that everything will be solved and that we are implementing an action plan, “says the specialist.
of those who suffer bullying, is another key. “While the conflict with the peer group is resolved, it is important that they can go to extracurricular activities, to some other new group of belonging, for example, to start practicing some sport,” advises Morgan.
On the other hand, the psychologist recommends those parents who see a great emotional impact on their children or many changes in their behavior,
consult a specialized professional
“in order to have the support and therapeutic space they need.” “It can also be very important as a resource for parents, who are often very distressed and need help to mediate the relationship with the school,” adds Morgan.
What not to do
Morgan stresses that there are a series of behaviors that are not recommended by adults. “Many times parents want to speak directly to the parents of the child who is mistreating their child. However, it has been shown that in most cases when this happens, the problem is far from being solved, escalates and worsens.
It is the school that must mediate to resolve the issue
Another thing parents should not do is “promise to keep the secret.” “Sometimes our son tells us what is happening to him with great anguish and fear, because bullying is like a trap, from which they feel that they are not going to be able to leave, and they ask us to please do not tell anything,” describes the director of the Argentina Anti Bullying Team (ABA). “What we have to tell them is that it is a serious problem, that
we can’t keep the secret
, that we need to talk about it, but that we are going to treat it with the appropriate confidentiality to protect it “.
Do not minimize and avoid blaming
the boy with phrases like “you must have done something to make this happen to you” is essential. “There is no responsibility for him or her in this or anything that justifies what is happening to him,” says Morgan. On the other hand, suggesting that the child “do something” or defend herself is also not recommended. “Far from solving the problem, what it does is to frustrate it doubly: not only do you feel that you cannot get out of that situation, where there is an imbalance of power and you are in an inferior position, but you will also feel
How do I deal with my children?
- It will generate a
bond of empathy
. Make it clear that you understand how bad it feels. For this, phrases such as: “I understand how sad this thing makes you, any boy in your place would feel like this” are recommended; “You are right to be angry or distressed, these things should not happen.”
- Don’t use the term bullying
. Boys may not know what it means or even not call it that. It is better that you refer to the behaviors, for example: “Do they mistreat you at school? Do they tell you things you don’t like? Is someone hurting you?”
- Don’t naturalize the phenomenon
. In this sense, avoid phrases like: “They are things that happen, life is like this”; “Are not you exaggerating? It is not so serious” or “in all schools it happens.”
- Tell him it’s not his fault what’s happening to him
. Avoid stigmatizing phrases like: “And what did you do to make them tell you or do that?”; “always with the same theme you” or “change your attitude”.
- Do not place the responsibility of having to defend yourself on your child.
Avoid telling him to turn a deaf ear or to act on his own.
- Congratulate him for having encouraged to talk about it
and for the courage to say it.
- Talk it over at school.
Show them that your intention is to work with them to find a solution. Beyond your expectations, keep in mind that it is the responsibility of the school to evaluate the disciplinary measures to be applied based on its own institutional regulations. The important thing is to demand that the abuse stop and that your child be given the physical protection and emotional security she needs.
- If the aggressive episodes do not diminish or the school does not offer effective responses, it is necessary that
evaluate other alternatives
, since it is not recommended that a boy continue in a toxic bonding context. The change of school can be an option to analyze. “To avoid giving an incorrect message, it is always important to work the change of school in advance with a professional specialized in the subject, since many boys often think, why do I change myself if those who attack are others?”, They explain from Equipo ABA.
Where to ask for help and more information
ABA Team: provides a comprehensive and multidimensional approach to reduce violence rates, strengthen values education and promote healthy school coexistence.
Bullying Free: offers tools to prevent, detect and intervene in bullying situations in the school environment.
- School Coexistence Line of the National Ministry of Education: 0800-222-1197. Reception, referral and care of conflictive situations of coexistence in schools and / or situations of violation of rights.
Argentina Cybersecurity: works to create a secure digital space through awareness and education activities.