What do we call bullying or bullying? We can define bullying or bullying as unwanted aggressive behavior in which a child or adolescent uses an imbalance of real or perceived power, such as physical force or access to embarrassing information or popularity, to control or harm others. Other children. It can range from spreading rumors to name calling and serious physical assault.

But, why does bullying occur? Although it is difficult for us to understand why someone can act like this, one of the most frequent reasons is because the person who exercises it feels that acting like this gives them power, and we all need to feel strong or powerful at some point in our lives. However, not everyone has tools or mechanisms to be able to feel good in a healthy and balanced way, and that is why many children, who tend to feel dissatisfied or powerless with their lives or with certain parts of them, may fall into using it in a healthy way. unhealthy or violent.

For a child or adolescent who often feels powerless in their life, abusing power through bullying can make them feel good, almost like a drug. If that child is hurting inside, attacking others can unfortunately help him or her feel a little better for a short time. If someone has humiliated, threatened or hurt you, those feelings will often threaten your inner balance , wanting, almost in all likelihood, to lash out, humiliate, threaten, or hurt other people.




Is bullying something new? Well, the truth is that there have always been people who have acted hurting others , and the path of children sometimes crosses them. We must also bear in mind that almost all children want to get away with it, which means that they will sometimes abuse power, however, this is a normal development that should be short-lived and in a context where that they also develop empathy, which is not the case with bullying.

So, if as parents we find ourselves in a bullying situation, it is important not to isolate the child and support him / her to develop the awareness and skills necessary to protect themselves and to seek help when necessary. With this we do not mean that we should not try to stop bullying , but to provide the little ones with resources so that, if they suffer it while it is being stopped, they can try to get ahead in the best possible way.



Circles of justice and conflict resolution

Bullying behavior in children usually begins in preschool and gains momentum as children grow older. But what can be done at home and in schools? In this sense, so-called “circles of justice” or conflict resolution systems have been shown to be effective approaches to reduce bullying much more than attacking bullies with punitive punishments. Unfortunately, most schools still struggle to implement effective approaches of this type in these situations, although there are many that exist, such as the Arturo bear technique or the famous Kiva method .

The presence and influence of social networks also seems to have increased the danger and amplification of the phenomenon of bullying, so that the phenomenon already reaches far beyond school and many children can come to feel that they do not have a safe haven , and This is something that as adults we should monitor and control. We must bear in mind that the long-term consequences of bullying include an increased risk of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse or self-destructive behaviors, so we are not talking about something trivial that can wait for tomorrow.


Simple strategies to fight bullying

Below we want to expose a series of strategies used in schools with enough success to help children defend themselves, although it goes without saying in this case that the main and fundamental objective is to prevent these cases from occurring, as well as to empower children and young people so that, even if they occur, they cannot affect as much as they do.


  • Confront and ask. It is about teaching children to confront the bully by standing up and using a loud voice. The child should name the specific bullying behavior and tell the bully to stop: “Stop it” or “Stop making fun of me.” Another possibility is to respond to insults with non-defensive questions: “Why do you say that?” or “Why do you want to hurt my feelings?” It is not so much a question of obtaining a response from the other but of reflecting that there is a bad action that has no justification.


  • Use the word “want.” Communication experts suggest teaching children to approach the bully by beginning with the word “I want to,” and then saying firmly what you want to change: “I want you to leave me alone” or “I want you to stop bothering me.”


  • Making fun of teasing. As children who are being bullied can progress in confidence and self-confidence, we can help them build a “statement of intent” based on replicating the behavior of others. To teasing, responses with greater irony and ease. Example: “Four eyes!” / “Oh yes, you’re right, my eyesight is quite poor, but your attitude is more so.” Of course, we must bear in mind that the child will need some maturity and emotional control to use this type of technique, although it can be worked on.


  • Ignore and continue. Bullies love the fact that their teasing annoys their victims, so help your child find a way not to let their “tormentor” catch them, such as: pretending to be invisible; walk away without looking; quickly look at something else and laugh; appear completely disinterested; not feel guilt or shame … This technique is effective because in the end the behavior usually stops after having sent the “harasser” the message that his attitude not only does not affect, but is invisible (although unfortunately it does not).




In any case, collective awareness in the classroom and at home around empathy and the absolute condemnation of these behaviors is essential so that other classmates, those who may witness a scene of harassment or bullying, can condemn it and express themselves in Consequently, rejecting the stalker’s attitude, isolating him, supporting the victim, and communicating each situation to the teachers.


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