How to react to bullying?

Bullying includes different kinds of aggressive and unpleasant actions generally intended to humiliate another child and cause him emotional pain. In a bullying situation, we usually see an imbalance of forces – the bullied child cannot defend himself because of the physical or psychological advantage of his abusers. Therefore, in a bullying situation, it is very important to help the victims – it is really difficult to overcome the bullying alone.

How to help a bullied child

  • Talk with the child about the bullying and listen to him without criticism or accusations. It is important for the child to feel heard and accepted.
  • Discuss with the child about how he could avoid bullying at school or in cyberspace – how he could respond to being attacked by his peers, where he could be safer, how he could reply to electronic bullying, etc.
  • Encourage your child to contact, or contact the staff of the educational institution yourself if the offenders are from the child’s school environment: class teacher, administration, school specialists.

What to do if you see bullying taking place among children

  • Do not pass by indifferently or ignore it if you see children bullying each other. Your indifference can be interpreted as approval of such behaviour.
  • If you are not sure whether the children are just playing or actually insulting each other – ask them what they are doing. If you see someone who looks like he is suffering, offer him your help. Sometimes, simple adult attention to children is enough to stop the bullying.
  • To stop bullying, you must:
    • Come close to the child behaving improperly.
    • Prevent inappropriate actions (for example, stand between the offender and the victim).
    •  Speak in a loud, clear and firm voice that they should stop doing it.

Read more about bullying and the response to it at

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