My child harasses his comrades: how to react?

About one in ten students are victims of school bullying in France. Who are the ones who physically or morally mischief their comrades? What if he is his own child?

Difficult to hear as parents that her child is violent and harasses classmates. How to talk to him? How to make him aware of the harm he can cause and above all: why is he doing this? In his book I do not leave in the playground! *Florence Millot, psychologist, gives some tips to families who do not know how to do it.

Do not over react

The first reaction of a parent who learns that their child is violent at school is often anger, or shame. Some people tend to reject it with this type of sentence: "But what did I do to have a child like this?". On the contrary, a party denies the behavior of his child as a whole, thinks he is wise and would never hurt anyone. Most of the time, the parents are informed by the director while they do not suspect anything.

Understand where violence comes from

A child may be pressured to act violently at school for several reasons. In the first place, lack of self-esteem and fear of others. These two feelings are sometimes masked by aggression. In order not to reveal his weaknesses, the child is able to stand out and harass someone. It is a way to put away one's own suffering, loneliness or depression.

The malaise of a child can also come from insecurity or violence experienced in the family."These children, if possible, should be helped through therapeutic follow-up: parents already under pressure, will find it difficult to decenter their pain and their problems to listen to the suffering of their child"reveals Florence Millot in her book.

The stalker may also be a former harasser. Some who have already experienced violence in school unconsciously reproduce the same pattern on other classmates. "It's as if these kids had such a negative belief in themselves that they sincerely believe that all the bad things heard on them are true. So, in an act of denial, they become someone else and embody the strong character of their aggressor ".

Listen and talk to him

It is important, once the anger is over, that the parents take care of returning to the need of the child and looking beyond appearances. We must give the child a place of benevolence and listening so that his behavior does not happen again. The goal is to understand the origin of this attitude.

Ask the right questions

In her book, Florence Millot draws up a questionnaire for stalking children. She advises parents to gently ask her child if he knows what harassment is, if he can say the insults he is used to throwing at his classmate, what he felt in the background of while he acted, if he realized the violence of his actions.

Then, try to put the child in the place of the victim: "Imagine I tell you the same words for you every day, what would you feel? ". It is also advisable to suggest that you write a letter of apology to the target child and / or think about how he or she might be able to repair the injuries he or she has done to him / her. Moreover, it is possible to ask him if he wants to see a psychologist to improve his confidence in him.

Give him a reminder of the law

It is important to remind the child that harassment is a criminal offense as well as a disciplinary offense. Parents can also tell him the sanctions he would take if it happened again. This can help her to realize that harassment is not trivial and that she must stop physically or verbally abusing her classmates.

* The psychologist and psychopedagogue specialist in children and adolescents, Florence Millot, gives more leads to parents in his book J'me laisser pas faire dans la court de récré!, edited by Huray.

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