According to reports from the Ministry of Education, in 2022 there were 2,500 reports of bullying or school bullying in our country, a figure that has risen steadily since before the pandemic due to multiple factors: family instability, economic crisis, crisis of values, loss of loved ones, poor management of emotions, lack of empathy, among others. Antonella Galli, psychologist at our clinic, provides us with key information on what to do in the face of school bullying.
How does bullying manifest?
Bullying consists of physical, verbal, and psychological mistreatment by an aggressor against a victim. It is often attributed from one student to another; however, there are occasions in which teachers may intimidate students by minimizing them or exerting some type of aggression on them, generally psychological.
What are the signs that my child may be being bullied at school?
- It is essential that parents learn to recognize the most frequent warning signs: sad or quiet child after school, tries not to go to school, unexplained injuries or bruises, isolation, anxiety, loss or breakage of clothes or notebooks, nightmares, insomnia, poor grades, low self-esteem, among others.
- Often the child victim of bullying tends to protect the bully, either for fear of further aggressions or threats. Therefore, it is essential that parents strengthen communication with their children so that they have the confidence to tell them what is happening to them or to any of their classmates.
What to do when facing identified cases of school bullying?
- It is necessary to intervene at the level of the aggressor and the victim. At the level of the bully, it is necessary to establish family limits, permanent supervision and identify why the child has an abusive behavior is he/she looking for parental attention, is it a reflection of what is happening at home, is it imitating a family model, to establish new behavioral patterns.
- In the case of a child who is a victim of bullying, it is important to help him/her develop social skills, strengthen self-esteem and evaluate whether he/she is depressed or needs to receive psychological and/or psychiatric treatment to overcome the mistreatment. It is vital to rule out suicidal ideas in order to act immediately and effectively.
- At the same time, at the educational level, it is necessary to establish clear rules on abusive behavior, promote values and encourage the development of psychological workshops where children can reinforce their social skills. The accompaniment of parents, family, friends, and the closest circle will be essential for the child to overcome this experience.
- If you suspect that a child is a victim of bullying, do not remain silent, report the abuse.
Psychologist at Clínica Ricardo Palma