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How to teach your child to fend off bullying

How to teach your child to fend off bullying RBC-Ukraine collage
Author: Maria Kholina

Psychologist and candidate of psychological sciences, Svitlana Arefniia, shared insights on how to teach a child to fend off bullying.

How to teach a child to fend off bullying

If a child realizes they're being bullied and decides to share it, parents should react immediately.

"Because it's not the child who should fend off bullying. How does a child usually defend themselves? We already know this from a bunch of studies. They start using all existing strategies. First, they adapt, then they defend themselves, resorting to fighting," said Svitlana.

According to Arefniia, after this, the situation starts being ignored, accompanied by degradation, just so they can be loved and accepted.

"None of these options will work. None. So, those who create this safety net should protect the child, and the first ones should be the parents if there is this trusting communication and the child shares with them. Parents should gather information about the bullying," the psychologist remarked.

"This is also such an important point because many teachers start defending themselves, principals defend teachers because 'bullying doesn't happen in my school, it's impossible,' and cover them up," Arefniia said.

And proving bullying becomes almost impossible.

Therefore, the child should gather evidence which can further be used in court: officially record video or audio that confirms bullying.

Then, with that proof, parents approach adults and address the issue.