Useful Tips

For children, bullying by peers is worse than abuse by adults


What are the facts about bullying (school violence against peers)?

In adolescent settings, psychological forms of violence are more likely to occur.

  • More often teenagers insult, make fun of, nicknames, etc. (52.1%) kicks, jerks, bumps, naps, etc. (41.7%) and intentional neglect or refusal to communicate (37.8%).
  • Psychological violence in the form of ignoring and isolating other children is more common among teenage girls; boys have rumors, threats against another, spoiling and hiding things, taking away things, money, etc.
  • Violence is carried out mainly to one (25.7%) or two to three students (34.7%)
  • Teenagers are violent both alone (25.7%) and as a group (26.4%), both in the presence of others and alone "with the victim" (39.6%).
  • The most common reasons teenagers commit violence against their peers are, in their opinion, the arrogant behavior of their peers and the fact that the children tell the teacher about other students.
  • The main "motives" of violence against peers are the restoration of justice, hostility or revenge.
  • Committing violence, adolescents realize that their victim is experiencing, moreover, 27.6% of adolescents note such strong, negative emotions as fear, hatred, horror, helplessness, anger.

What is bullying (school violence)?

  • Bullying / school violence is a special type of violence, manifested systematically, for a long time in relation to a weaker student experiencing fear, isolation, powerlessness in response
  • The main indicators of bullying are:
  • manifestation of violence (physical, psychological, emotional) in relation to the student
  • conscious character (the student is driven by the desire to hurt, scare or subject a person to prolonged stress).
  • is systematic, long lasting
  • carried out alone or in a group,

Types of school violence:

  • physical bullying (bumps, shocks, spitting, etc.)
  • verbal bullying (derogatory comments, nicknames,

  • bullying with social exclusion or isolation -

the student is deliberately ignored, not included in communication / games,

  • bullying through lies or false rumors,
  • taking money or other things and spoiling them,
  • threats or coercion to take any action,


It is important to pay attention to the condition and behavior of the child when interacting with an adult

  • Child refuses to go to school
  • He sleeps restlessly, often wakes up at night, has nightmares
  • Comes from school with dirty / spoiled things
  • There are abrasions, bruises
  • Is experiencing anorexia
  • Shows sudden outbreaks of anger, aggression towards adults / peers, or becomes closed, capricious
  • In communication, you may get the feeling that the child is hiding something from the parent, is not negotiating
  • Looks miserable, upset
  • Complains of recurring headaches, stomach pains.

In communication with peers

  • It shows tension and fear when peers appear
  • The child is often ridiculed, teased, pushed, kicked, beaten
  • Often spends time alone, expelled from the company of peers
  • The child is not invited to the holidays, or he himself refuses to arrange holidays with an explanation,

that "no one will come to him anyway"

  • Avoids asking homework from

classmates, if you forgot or did not have time to write it down

  • Often becomes a participant in quarrels or fights in the role of

defenseless and offended

  • When peers appear, prefers to stay

The consequences of experiencing peer violence

  • The child experiences the degree of experiencing the consequences of peer violence depending on his age, the characteristics of the nervous system and personality, and the characteristics of the atmosphere in the family.
  • Children experience the same emotional reactions as adults, and may experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Injury in children can be experienced for years, manifest in various fields, therefore, it is important that a child who is a victim of abuse by peers receive professional help as soon as possible.
  • The most dangerous consequences of experiencing peer violence can be a prolonged experience of stress, low self-esteem, fear, phobias, and physical illnesses.

How to help a child:

  1. If a child tells you that he is ridiculed, called, pushed by his peers, it is important to react calmly, not to succumb to panic and impulsive aggressive reactions.
  2. Listen to the words and feelings of the child. Listen carefully to him and calm him down.
  3. Try to find out what happened and assure the child that you will do everything possible to

he was safe.

  • Discuss with the school teachers the behavior and condition of the child
  • Seek professional help from a psychologist.

  1. Do not disregard any manifestations of aggression and violence of students in relation to each other, while using the system of punishments of specific violent forms of behavior that are understandable to them, fixing in the consciousness of children the inadmissibility of school violence.
  2. To ensure a safe school environment, it is necessary to strive to create an atmosphere of open and confidential communication with students, paying attention not only to the academic, but also to the social and emotional needs of students,
  3. To facilitate the participation of “problematic” students in various school affairs and activities that enable them to prove themselves at the expense of their abilities and to assert themselves in a socially acceptable way.
  4. To give students an example of conflict-free communication and constructive conflict resolution, solving problems of discipline violation commensurate with their seriousness, without resorting to discussing and evaluating the child’s personal qualities in front of the whole class, ridiculing, comparing students among themselves, etc.,
  5. Strive for an individual approach to students, while not giving preference to any of the children.

IF you are offended, pushed, teased by peers, USEFUL

  1. not to be upset due to bullying, because this is what the hooligans want to achieve
  2. avoid loneliness, is in the company of peer friends,
  3. do not succumb to provocations, control your anger, tears
  4. behave confidently
  5. tell an adult about bullying
  6. seek help from an adult

Just because it doesn’t mean it’s normal

One in three children from the United States reports that they were beaten at school, and about one in seven report online bullying.

In a Walk study, 30 percent of children in the UK group and 16 percent in the US group reported bullying. Another 7 percent of children in the UK and 10 percent in the United States reported bullying and abuse to both.

Recognizing that bullying is widespread across cultures and socioeconomic groups, psychologists and anti-bullying advocates work hard to refute the notion that bullying normally dissuades an adult from having a complacent "children can be so cruel" mentality.

“Bullying is not a harmless rite of passage or an inevitable part of growing up, it has serious long-term consequences,” Walk said.

Bullying may also not be reported and may have consequences other than mental health problems, says Wolke.

In U.K., about 16,000 children remain at home from school all the time because they are regularly bullied and their academic successes suffer as a result of being at home. Children with suffocation can also suffer from a serious illness, inability to concentrate, poor social relationships, and even have problems with retaining work as adults.

Walk's research breaks new ground because it looks at children who are bullied, abused, or both. Other studies have found that children who have problems at home are at risk of being bullied or become hooligans themselves, so the findings of the study that children who are both abused and bullied are at high risk for mental health problems are important information for policy makers and mental health providers.

“Self-harm, such as poisoning, cutting, and suicide attempts, can have both serious physical and mental consequences and ultimately lead to premature mortality,” Volke said.

Whose job is to prevent bullying?

Public policy efforts and individual school systems have taken steps to prevent and eliminate bullying. Nine states in the United States have policies or laws that are often written in educational codes aimed at preventing bullying by identifying prohibited behaviors, protecting against intrusive groups (such as LGBT people or youth with developmental disabilities), and setting out investigation and discipline processes.

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Services Administration recently released the free KnowBullying mobile app, which provides starter tips, warning signs and strategies to help educators and parents talk to their children about bullying.

However, Walk fears that these efforts will not go far enough to protect children from the mental health consequences that he and other researchers regularly diagnose in mocking children.

Too often, he said, resources to protect children are directed at combating adult abuse. But, given his findings that peer bullying actually does more psychological damage, he hopes to see widespread government efforts that protect the bullied children.

“Our research has shown that bullying has a more adverse effect on long-term mental health than abuse,” he said. “The United States Convention on the Rights of the Child provided for the protection of children from abuse and neglect. . But peer violence is not mentioned. Therefore, this imbalance in government efforts requires attention. "

Related News: Mother's Perspective on Bullying

Teachers in response

Sometimes, in order to stop bullying of a child by peers, a parental appeal to the class teacher, school administration or to the parents of the offenders is enough. The head teacher and the school principal will try to quickly resolve the conflict, as they want the learning process to be fruitful, calm and safe.

But the matter is not only in the personal interest of the school leadership, the law prescribes preventing conflict or eliminating its consequences - “Any educational institution is obliged to create safe conditions for training, educating students, looking after and caring for students, and also to observe the rights and freedoms of students” (paragraph 6 Article 28 of the Federal Law of December 29, 12 No. 273-ФЗ “On Education in the Russian Federation”).

Recall that “the dignity of the individual is protected by the state, nothing, including age, can be a reason for belittling him, nor should anyone, under any circumstances, be subjected to violence or degrading treatment” (Article 12 of the Constitution).

“It is the school, as an educational organization, that is responsible for the life and health of students” (paragraph 7 of article 28 of the law on education). A person who was able to help the child and was obliged to take care of him (or put him in a life-threatening state or health), according to article 125 of the Criminal Code, can be recognized as a criminal. And, you can believe, the punishment in this case is not limited to reprimand or a reproachful shake of the head.

Thus, it is the school that is responsible if there is a one-time and (or) systematic harm to the health of the student. Accordingly, educators should make every effort to prevent, resolve and prevent future conflict situations.

If the school staff do not take any measures to resolve children's conflicts of their own free will, then parents have to act.

The first thing that needs to be done is to contact the class teacher and principal. We recommend that you first contact orally, and then, if there is no reaction, then in writing (a copy of the appeal should be sent to the Department of Education and (or) the police).

It’s good if the school has a prevention council - a commission that includes teachers, psychologists, representatives of the school’s administration, a juvenile inspector and a social educator. They call the child and parents for advice, conduct conversations. If the measures taken do not give results, then the case may be referred to the juvenile commission, which for a minor may mean registration with the police.

In any case, committing a socially dangerous act (beating, bullying, theft, blackmail, etc.), law enforcement agencies must be involved in the case. These are not jokes and harmless pranks, but, strictly speaking, a crime.

It is possible and necessary to contact the inspection for minors, the district police department, including with a request to carry out preventive work against both the most “difficult” child and his family members.

Similarly, you must contact the police if the illegal act was committed outside the school. It should insist not only on conducting checks and taking measures on this fact, but also raise the question of bringing to justice those responsible, including the parents of the minor. So, in relation to the parents of a young offender, measures can be applied up to bringing them to responsibility for the improper upbringing of the child.

It would be a mistake to think that age can become indulgence - nothing like that. If the damage was caused by a child under 14 years of age (minor), then the damage is compensated by his parents (adoptive parents, guardians), unless they prove that the damage arose not through their fault.

If the harm was done on the school territory (kindergarten, sanatorium, hospital, etc.) or under the supervision of a nanny, then the responsibility lies with the organization or a specific person - again, if it is impossible to prove that the harm arose not through the fault of the teacher, teachers or nannies supervising children.

A minor who has reached the age of 14 is responsible for the harm himself. But, if he does not have sufficient financial resources, then the harm is fully or partially compensated by the parents (adoptive parents, guardian) of the minor.

Last tip: if the situation seems hopeless to you, and you have decided to transfer the child to another school, then in no case do not indicate in the application that you are doing this “in connection with the move” or “for family reasons”. Indicate a reliable reason: "due to the fact that the conditions in this school do not meet the safety requirements and pose a threat to the mental and physical health of the child." This will push the leadership of the educational institution to action to prevent conflict situations among children.

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