Parents should never ignore their child’s involvement in bullying, no matter what role they play in it. This position was voiced on March 1 by Maria Makukhina, a clinical psychologist at the Fantasy Children’s Clinic, in an interview with Gazeta.Ru.
As the expert noted, in adolescence, the child’s leading activity changes. She switches from studying to communicating with her peers. And, if the need for communication and positioning among peers is not satisfied in the usual way, then a teenager may become a victim of bullying or start to poison others himself.
“If the parents have a good trusting relationship with the child, they can discuss the situation with the child. It is impossible to turn a blind eye to bullying – in whatever role your child participates in it. Studies show that harsh educational measures in such a situation are ineffective. Effectively include children in the discussion of what is happening,” she said.
Makukhina noted that if a teenager is prone to aggressive behavior and attempts to dominate others, then parents should conclude a kind of “contract” with him, which will spell out undesirable actions, sanctions for non-compliance and encouragement for its observance. The lack of walks or the deprivation of gadgets can act as a punishment, and prizes or privileges can act as an encouragement.
“Sometimes parents can cope with the problem on their own, but more often you can’t do without contacting a psychologist. Because participation in bullying may indicate some features of the child’s emotional development – for example, a lack of empathy, when he is simply unable to put himself in the place of another person and understand how unpleasant and painful it is. Or about undeveloped communication skills – the child does not know how to communicate differently, how to join the company of peers, ”explained the psychologist.
The expert also emphasized that often the child’s aggressive behavior comes from the family, as he observes the behavior of his parents and learns from them. That is why the family should be a territory free from violence.
“Often the cause of child aggression is unstable self-esteem, which makes the child act on the principle: I’d rather hit first than hit me. This also needs to be worked on: to exclude criticism that does not bring any benefit, but can be a sensitive blow to self-esteem. Criticism in this case is any negative statements about the child, his behavior, the fruits of his work, ”said the specialist.
According to the psychologist, those activities in which he is chronically unsuccessful should also be excluded from the child’s life, as this can injure his self-esteem, and not harden him.
“Try to focus on the positive: actively reinforce positive behavior, give the child the opportunity to feel significant, important and successful, so that he does not try to achieve this feeling through aggression towards other children,” Makukhina concluded.
Earlier, on February 22, the psychologist of Online School No. 1, Kira Goldstein, in an interview with Izvestia, gave advice on how to protect a child from bullying and violence from peers, and what to do if a child has been bullied. As the specialist pointed out, first of all, it is important that the child trusts his parents and tells about cases of bullying and violence.