From bullying to approaching and loving (2nd part): Factors that cause and exacerbate the phenomenon of school bullying – What can we do?

Aggravating Factors contributing to the creation and worsening of the phenomenon of school bullying

Family Context
Generally, nowadays, relations between family members and especially between parents and children do not have solid foundations, so they are consumed in meaningless, superficial communication. Discussion, pure interest, love have been replaced by easy and convenient solutions: material objects (gifts), television, computer games, etc. In many cases, children face authoritarian and punitive parents and become victims of verbal and physical violence. In this way, children are neglected and emotionally alienated and learn that violence is the only solution to solving any problems. Domestic violence mainly tends to become the norm, with frequent outbursts of anger and physical punishments occurring daily. Thus, punishments, violence, and abuse within the family environment play a decisive role in shaping children’s personality with the possible appearance of aggressive behaviors on the part of the school environment.

School Framework
Instead of cultivating noble emulation and cooperation, the modern school has taken on a competitive character by pushing students to “fight” for the best grade, the best work, the favor of the teacher. Individually oriented work is also promoted and adopted, thus depriving students of the beneficial characteristics of collaboration and collaborative learning. The emphasis is placed on academic performance with the consequent distinction between those who do better than others and increasing the already intense and irrational competitiveness among students. Further, indifference or tolerance to violent behavior in many cases reinforces and rewards such actions. Finally, the integration of parents into school life and their close communication and cooperation with the teaching staff exists but needs further development and enrichment through the introduction of relevant psychosocial education programs.

The daily viewing of shows that show violent scenes and aggressive behaviors, especially when minors are watching, affects them significantly because they mimic what they see on TV. The constant promotion of violence and its beauty-idealization through cartoons and computer games contribute to minors’ expression of violent behaviors. Finally, we should refer to the extensive presentation of violence and adverse events at the news bulletins, presented in an inappropriate way for children’s age. Undoubtedly, all these factors affect children’s psychosynthesis.

Social Framework – Lifestyle
The modern way of life is characterized by individualism, impersonal relationships, reservedness in communication, and new friendly relationships. Also, social norms that tolerate or encourage violence (e.g., against women, immigrants, children) combined with the social inequalities contribute to the perception of violence as something normal and appropriate for solving problems.

What can we do? Is there a way?

So far…

The “anxiety” of society to make accusations and determine who is responsible for this phenomenon is characteristic. Simultaneously, it connives to the real causes of its creation, in the formation of which it plays a decisive role through its various pathogens. This perception and treatment of the phenomenon of school bullying by our society have created a vicious circle between condemning such negative phenomena, misjudging them, and the absence of preventive actions. There are another false belief, this protection and the “redemption” of children who receive school bullying and ultimately the resolution of the problem by merely speaking and reporting the relevant incidents to their parents or teachers. This move can only be positive and beneficial for these children and should be pursued in any case. However, what is good to avoid is complacency and restriction on the superficial and transient treatment of the problem while ignoring the real and essential causes of the creation of this phenomenon.

From now on…

Substantial Cooperation of School-Family-Psychologists

The effort to tackle bullying must be carried out at both levels – family, school – but its success will be judged by practical cooperation between them.

Thus, in the family context, strengthening real communication, love, conversation, and touching is considered necessary for children’s harmonious upbringing. The substantial proximity between children and parents will greatly help children to enhance their self-esteem while building a personality capable of respecting, understanding, and communicating honestly with other people.

In the school context, there should be better supervision and continuous training of teachers in pedagogical matters; several reforms should be made regarding how students are taught and how they participate in the educational process. It would be beneficial and fascinating for students to rotate all (non-discriminatory) in collaborative groups during teaching or carrying out a task. In this way, students will get to know each other better and gain friendships. Their common purpose will initially strengthen mutual support and develop a sense of solidarity, offer, and help. Also, in the same spirit, emphasis should be placed on students’ creativity through collaborative work and cultural activities with students’ universal participation, activities that will highlight the diversity, particular inclinations, and abilities of students. Further, the school environment should be upgraded materially and substantially, with the school program enriched with new team games, which will reinforce the above elements and discussions regarding emotions, diversity, self-esteem, constructive conflict resolution, etc.

Finally, it should be stressed that school is a miniature of our society; the patterns and relationships children develop at school reflect and discount the relationships that will grow in the social field. That is why it is crucial to invest in the cultivation of mutual respect and solidarity from school age, contributing in the long run to the humanization and improvement of our society.