When schools are starting, some children might insist on not going to school. When explanations like worries about lectures, fear of being separated from home or difficult relationship with teachers are not enough or correct, bullying is the first thing that should come to your mind.
Especially small children might not understand bullying and can’t tell it to their parents since their cause-result relationship is limited. Therefore, parents should examine peer relationships at school if they observe any of following behaviours; not wanting to attend to school or school activities, too many physical excuses (headache, feeling sick etc.) stubbornness before school time and groundless anger.
What is peer bullying?
Physical bullying: Pushing, hitting, tripping, physical jokes, spitting, biting, pulling hair inside or outside of school are physical bullying.
Verbal bullying: Making fun of child’s specific physical characteristics, calling nicknames, saying humiliating words are verbal bullying. For small children, even hair colour can be a topic to a joke.
Social bullying: Excluding from friend circles, not inviting to activities, making lonely, slander are social bullying generally made by groups. In our world, cyber bullying is also very common among teenagers.
Possessions: Harming child’s possessions, taking their money or food, using items without permission are bullying with possessions.
When should it be intervened?
Children who both bully and or be exposed to bullying might have serious emotional problems in the future.
Bully children generally have serious problems with family, academic life, drugs, psychological health. Or they might suffer from lack of concentration, hyperactivity, behaviour issues. Whichever the problem is, it has to be detected at a very young age and should be intervened.
Victims also need consulting and psychological support from an expert in order to reduce the damage and possible traumatized effects, build self esteem again and get socialized again.
Advices for parents
If bullying happens at school, it is not right to keep it only at school. Both children’s parents should be in contact and be in touch with teachers at school.
First of all, if the victim child claims to be bullied, parents and authorities should believe it. Even if he/she is lying, it must be observed why child made up this about a friend.
Victim child shouldn’t be blamed. Saying thing like “You are too weak, that’s why it is happened” or “Didn’t you fight back?” are not appropriate. It is very important to emphasize that you know that your child is hurt and very upset, and being able to tell the story shows how strong he/she is.