Bullying, or bullying, is one of the main problems in the field of education that victims and parents, as well as educators, have faced for years.
In recent years, the level of social awareness has increased with these types of violent dynamics that are unfortunately so common in schools. This is a very positive thing, because if a few decades ago this type of bullying was considered normal, even desirable (interpreted as a way of “cutting boys short” in the face of the harshness of life), today he idea that it is something to eradicate from schools has become hegemonic, something necessary to end bullying.
However, it is common for the talk of what needs to be done to address bullying to be more emotional and impulsive than constructive. The need to reprimand the harasser, to make him pay for what he has done, and a whole series of drastic measures based on revenge and seeming more like an escape valve to channel anger than a really effective means of fight against school bullying. So… What strategies can we follow to fight bullying? Let’s see.
Effective strategies for dealing with bullying
In recent years, research in both mental health and education has led to several ways to prevent and adequately combat bullying. These are some of the most important.
1. Raise awareness and raise awareness
The first task of parents and educators is to educate and make children and their families aware of the existence of different types of bullying and how these can affect the person experiencing them. To do this, it must be clear that bullying is not just a “problem” between two people, but a social phenomenon linked to an entire community.
So, for example, informing teachers that there is bullying is not a matter of interfering in the lives of others, but something that affects an entire class or even an entire school.
Also It is important for children to know that bullying is not limited to beatings and physical attacks. that everyone can see at recess or in class, but there are also more subtle forms of violence that are practiced with the aim of causing maximum harm to the victim. For example, the emergence of new forms of communication via smartphones has made it possible for bullying to also practice new forms of harassment which often have more detrimental effects on the life and mental health of the victim, such as the broadcasting of videos or humiliating photographs. victim.
In addition, it is very important to educate children and students so that not only do they not bully their peers, but also, in the event that someone is being bullied, that they report it to teachers or parents as soon as possible.
2. Improve school communication channels
Working to ensure that the school has different communication channels through which victims can seek help in a confidential and secure manner will improve the centre’s vigilance to detect cases of bullying as quickly as possible.
Have lines of communication available to detect instances of bullying This means talking to children frequently about their everyday feelings and experiences at school, as well as always being ready to listen to something that parents and educators can do.
We can also work to improve existing lines of communication, paying particular attention to the health of children and resolving any issues with any of them.
3. Promote positive values
Positive values of coexistence and interpersonal relationships at school, such as inclusion, tolerance, solidarity and camaraderie among students, are one of the best ways to prevent bullying in the classroom.
In order to achieve this objective It is important to create examples and references among studentsas children learn good and bad behavior from the role models they receive from their parents and teachers.
The work of teachers when acting as referents can also be achieved by valuing students’ good behavior in this line, making them proud to behave, and punishing the slightest hint of bullying behavior when it occurs.
4. Train school staff
Another of the most useful strategies we can put in place to combat bullying is to train school personnel in early detection of signs of bullying and in the activation of standardized protocols to eradicate it and properly treat the victim.
There are currently a variety of institutions specializing in the training and education of educators to combat bullying who can teach us the main tools and strategies that will allow us to be prepared and to act diligently in the face of such case. .
5. Discourage viewers
Psychologists agree that most cases of bullying are possible thanks to the participation of other students who act as spectators of the bullying, laugh at it or remain inactive to stop it.
Discouraging the appearance of these viewers is also one of the best ways to stop harassment. something that the Finnish government has been implementing for several years with the KiVa method.
The KiVa method is a common tool in the Finnish education system, considered one of the best in the world, and focuses on educating students not to encourage the bully, nor offer recognition for their actions, so that ‘there’s no incentive left. Harass.
In short, the KiVa method prevents the rest of the class from thanking the bully and participating in the bullying of the victim, a strategy that has successfully eradicated bullying in up to 80% of Finnish schools.
6. Promote integration
Encourage the most vulnerable children to engage in social activities of all kinds according to their interests or hobbies are also a good way to prevent bullying.
Helping them to participate in activities that make them happy such as sports, swimming, singing, painting, youth groups or music groups will go a long way in increasing the child’s self-esteem, improving their emotional health and to allow him to know himself. people his age with the same interests.
Likewise, it is important to educate the little ones to understand the differences and samples the cultural diversity that exists among members of the same course. This avoids situations of social isolation that favor cases of harassment by creating the figure of the helpless victim with whom he has no empathy.
Overall, it helps to prevent bullying and has a positive effect on the child’s personality.
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- Pinuel, I.; Onate, A. (2007). School harassment: violence and psychological harassment towards children. Madrid: ECAC.
- Rosental, R. (2014). Intimidation. Rosental’s practical methodology. Editorial Dunken.
- Salmivalli, C.; Poskiparta, E. (2012). Making bullying prevention a priority in Finnish schools: the KiVa anti-bullying programme. New Directions for Youth Development, 2012 (133): 41 – 53.