You can become desensitized to bullying

Common questions about bullying

Where does the brawl end - and does bullying begin? In a fight, two equally strong fight each other. In bullying, one of the two is stronger physically and mentally. The perpetrator wants to gain status by deliberately killing someone and using others for it. There is an asymmetry of power that is upsetting the whole class. At a certain point it is even dangerous for the others to do something for the victim.Can bullying endanger a child's development in the long term? Yes. Many victims suffer from psychosomatic illnesses, depression and low self-esteem. Some even have suicidal thoughts. There is robust evidence that victims of bullying are also impaired in the quality of their relationships as adults.Are boys or girls bullied? As well ... as. The sexes are also mixed among the perpetrators. When boys are bullying, they are often more blatant about it. Girls tend to act backwards.Which students are bullying? Those who have learned that they can achieve their goals with aggression - that is already laid out in the family. A bullying perpetrator also knows how to deceive: He or she hides from the teachers as the perpetrator, instead makes others look stupid. You turn it so that the teacher only looks when the victim hits back. Or you say to a third party: You are my best friend if you can beat him. This behavior increases when this child has never been put in his place, when others are punished for his actions, when the victim is doubted. And if no one has ever said very emphatically: "What you are doing here just doesn't work."
However, such announcements must then be followed by absolutely consistent action on the part of the teacher - otherwise one reinforces exactly the behavior that one actually wants to prevent.How can you help children who are bullied by their classmates? If there is already being bullied, it is actually too late. It doesn't matter whether the children fight back or just don't respond to the teasing. They are stuck in their victim role and have a hard time getting out of it. Self-esteem training or self-defense do not help. And parents and teachers can hardly achieve anything either.Does a change of school help the victims of bullying? In at least half of the cases, this does not turn out to be the solution. The affected children and adolescents live at a greatly increased risk of becoming victims again because they have to integrate into a new social context in an extremely vulnerable state. That almost predestines them to be victims again.Can prevention do something against bullying? Definitely! Teachers urgently need to be trained in this direction. Because only in advance, i.e. when the bullying is just beginning, can you take action against it. I myself am also involved in teacher training and have found that there is a great need to understand the dynamics of bullying so that one can then counteract it with the right means.How do children become victims of bullying? Because of their appearance, because of their nature? No, appearance, physical weakness or introversion do not make children a victim of bullying. It is the position that the child has in the social fabric of the class. For example, a physically weak child can be highly regarded in the class because of other abilities and be completely safe. Victims are selected when they sometimes only temporarily hold a socially weak position.Have systematic attacks increased - or have terms such as “mobbing” and “bullying” just made them more conscious? In any case, there is no empirical evidence that bullying has increased. Systematic attacks occurred regularly before that. Researchers fear, however, that the course of bullying cases will change. When classmates experience that nothing is being done about bullying, it leads to desensitization. This increases the risk that they will be ready to participate more quickly.Is bullying among students different from that among adults? The system is similar. But belonging is extremely important for children - more so than for adults. Because the child is bound to attend school with his compulsory school attendance. When it comes to bullying, it is lonely there - and that for a long time during the day. Children have a right to protection.Do victims have to fear that they will automatically be bullied again later? No. While long-term studies show that the “perpetrators” from primary school have a two-fold higher risk of being perpetrators in secondary school as well, there is no such “role stability” among the victims. However: If a student is bullied in elementary and then in secondary school, it is very likely that this will spoil the quality of their relationship later. Like a girl who was bullied for years at her school in an Upper Bavarian village. Later she told me that she was still present - whether in the dance class or with her part-time job in the supermarket: this diffuse fear of simply not belonging.