Today the word «bullying» has migrated from English to Russian. It is used by more and more people, in general terms, many people know its meaning. But what if we consider it in detail? How to distinguish this very bullying from ordinary children’s conflicts in which adult intervention is undesirable. Is it worth helping a child if he has become a victim of bullying, and how to do it? Natalya Tsymbalenko helps parents eliminate this problem in her book Bullying. How to stop bullying.
In English, «bully» is a fighter, a bully, a bully, a rude person, or in a more serious sense, a rapist. This is where the word “bullying” came from, which we now willingly use in Russia. If you do not think about these historical relationships, then the word becomes just a set of sounds: the Russian-speaking ear does not perceive them as something heavy and threatening. But he also has a more understandable translation for our ears: “baiting”. This word no longer seems “toy” to us — it is real and frightening.
At the same time, if in the West they have long paid attention to this problem, recognized its existence, then in Russia, even if parents are worried about the attitude towards their child in the classroom, teachers can dismiss them, citing the fact that this is not their area of responsibility: the school is obliged to give knowledge, and not to solve questions of psychology and relationships. Natalya Tsymbalenko actively disputes this and conveys a lot of useful information for adults. Which one — we will tell below.
about the author
Natalia Tsymbalenko is a journalist and human rights activist. She heads the Public Relations Department of Moscow State University of Management of the Government of Moscow. In addition, she is the mother of three children.
There would be no book on bullying if Natalia had not experienced a case of bullying in her son’s class. About what steps she took to resolve this situation, she told in a post on the Internet. He instantly resonated with many parents. Someone talked about how he himself became a victim of bullying at school, someone complained about similar problems at the school of their children. A little later, a book was published, supplemented with new details.
And now in more detail
Here, many adults may ask the question, “Why should I read this book? My child is the most ordinary, in my humble opinion — very cute, he is not too thin and not too fat, not small and not tall for his age. And generally smart and good. We do not have such problems and will not have them.” Firstly, in principle, to justify psychological violence (not only in the children’s team) by the presence of certain external or intellectual signs in the victim is fundamentally wrong, and you, as an adult, should think about it. Secondly, bullying can affect absolutely anyone, even the most unremarkable child who is used to being friends with everyone.
Why is this book worth reading?
• All information is presented clearly and to the point: only specifics;
• You will understand how to distinguish a simple conflict, which is more useful for children to deal with on their own, from direct bullying (and parental intervention is strictly necessary in it);
• Parents will learn what they are obliged to help their child with, and what assistance the school is obliged to provide;
• The book also highlights what laws may come to protect your child in such a situation;
• Is it only the victim who suffers when bullied? Not! Therefore, the book also contains instructions for parents of schoolchildren who act as aggressors;
• It is useful not only for parents, but also for teachers. Unfortunately, in our country, teachers have not yet learned how to massively cope with this problem.
Natalya Tsymbalenko advises to deal with the instigators in legal language, and use existing laws and evidence as arguments. Why is this method the most reasonable? Many parents want to help their child cope with bullying, but not everyone does the right thing. Often, adults devalue the feelings of their children (“Why are you like a rag!”, “Behave more confidently, and they will stop right away”, “Make friends with offenders, you can find an approach to everyone”) — out of the best of intentions. Other parents themselves go to deal with underage aggressors — but this is risky, because you yourself can be held accountable for causing injuries, and children may not listen to you, snap back and start poisoning your child even more. Parents of aggressive children also do not always make contact. Therefore, if teachers refuse to decide something, collect all possible evidence of bullying, write a statement and send it to everyone — from the director to the district council and the commission on juvenile affairs.
This will help even the most “difficult” parents to understand that if up to 14 they are responsible for their children, then after 14 it is the child himself. And for the distribution of offensive photos or comments, there can also be legal punishment. The task of the parent is to teach this responsibility.
Don’t Forget the Network
If earlier both the joys and troubles of schoolchildren happened offline, today such a thing as cyberbullying has appeared. It includes many different phenomena: from verbal-literal insults to offensive photo-toads. And yes, all this can also be used as evidence if the parents of the aggressor do not agree to peaceful cooperation, and there is no help from teachers and the school psychologist.
Don’t be afraid to step in
Many parents will say: “Children must learn to defend their rights themselves, this is an element of growing up.” The right thing to do here is to avoid a hyperprotective position. But at the same time, bullying has significant differences from a simple childish conflict. Quarrels most often have a specific reason, and it is not that someone is thin or fat, too stupid or too smart, wears glasses or is of a different nationality — the reasons for common conflicts are, for example, violation of personal boundaries or offensive remark. Conflicts are short lived. Bullying, on the other hand, is chronic if it is not eliminated in time. Bullying can go on for years and threaten injury to both the victim and the aggressor. And if your child refuses to go to school because of a conflict, then know that this is not just a quarrel.
Another advantage of the book about bullying is that it is quite small and can be read in one evening. What is important to know is that for a bully — an aggressor, a reason is not needed at all. Therefore, he can find fault with anything, and the problem can affect everyone. And parents should be warned how to talk about this with their children and how to help them.