Bullying, what it is and how to deal with it

Who I am
Marie-Ange Demory
Author and references

Source: Shutterstock


We often hear about Bullying which is, without doubt, one of the most alarming and studied phenomena of our society, but how it manifests itself Bullying and when goliardic jokes turn into real ones bullying which can cause irreparable consequences in those who suffer them? How to prevent bullying and by what means to combat it?

In this article

  • Bullying, what is it 
  • Signs of bullying 
  • How to prevent bullying 
  • Bullying in school
  • How to help a bullied victim
  • Why do you become bullies
  • What to do if your child is a bully
  • National bullying day 
  • It cyberbullismo
Read also: According to the Del Paeseni, bullying is on the rise: the fault of social networks

Bullying, what is it

Inside of us we know what bullying means and we are able to recognize it when we are faced with it. But if we want to define it clearly and unequivocally, we can borrow the words of Telefono Azzurro who for years has been committed to preventing, studying and combating the phenomenon of bullying:

Bullying means all those actions of systematic prevarication and abuse carried out by a child / adolescent, defined as a "bully" (or by a group), against another child / adolescent perceived as weaker, the victim.

This means, therefore, that we can talk about bullying in the presence of three elements:

  1. when bullying and abuses are enacted repeatedly and continuously and not of a single act;
  2. the bully takes his actions to affirm and exercise its power on the victim;
  3. i witnesses, who not only observe without intervening in defense of the victim but more often laugh, incite or even film what happens.
Read also: Bullying: 11 tips for parents, teachers and teens

Signs of bullying

How bullying manifests itself? We can spot three: types of behaviors that fully fall within the definition of bullying:

  1. Il verbal bullying which includes: provocations; threats; insults; inappropriate sexual comments.
  2. Il social bullying: aimed at damaging the reputation and social relationships of the victim with specific actions such as isolating someone on purpose, telling children not to be friends with the victim, embarrassing them, defaming them.
  3. Il physical bullying which includes abusive and violent behavior, but also the theft or destruction of personal items.

To these three categories we can also add the cyberbullying that manifests itself through the Internet or the mobile phone and which often makes it difficult to unmask the cyberbully.

Read also: Female bullying

But how to recognize a bullied child and what are the signals that should not be underestimated?

  • Unexplained injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothes, books, personal items
  • Frequent headaches or stomach pains
  • Fake illness
  • Changes in eating habits: for example, children may go home from school Hungry because they have not had lunch
  • Sleep disturbances and frequent nightmares
  • Decline in academic performance
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Self-destructive behaviors

How to prevent bullying

Is it possible to prevent the bullying with education? Certainly a serene family atmosphere, in which to educate children to respect, empathy and compassion, as well as the importance of following rules and limits, it is fundamental, but also the school plays its part. So what can be done in synergy?

  • raise awareness of bullying in children and young people through the vision of film, book readings
  • lead by example at home and in the classroom
  • encourage children to do enjoyable activities that can help them develop their talents
  • always keep the channel of communication open with young people and be willing to dialogue
Read also: Against bullying: teaching children to fight and to group

Bullying in school

Undoubtedly one of the areas in which bullying occurs most frequently is the school (but it can also affect him sport). And in light of the most recent data confirming that bullying has been prevalent since primary school, the Ministry of Education has released new ones guidelines for actions to prevent and combat bullying and cyberbullying.

Among the most significant and fruitful actions that can be implemented we point out:

  • creating a serene atmosphere in the classroom e make a group with projects and opportunities for communication and exchange;
  • maximum attention to an education toempathy and respect;
  • encourage the acquisition of the skills necessary for use the Internet responsibly.

The episodes of bullying in Del Paese

Second l'UNICEF in Del Paese, 37% of students between the ages of 13 and 15 report having been bullied at school at least once in the past two months and / or to have been involved in physical fights at least once in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 12% of the students have been bullied and 31% have been involved in acts of physical violence at least once in the last 12 months.

According to a sample survey carried out by EURES, over 9 out of 10 young people involved in bullying and mainly at school. The research was carried out among 1.022 upper secondary school students of the city: in the last year 66,9% of young people were bullied at least once (67,8% girls and 62,6% boys) , 81,3% have witnessed one or more of these episodes, while 37,8% indicate that they have committed it on one or more occasions (44,8% of males against 31,3%).
In practice, only 9,3% of young people state that they have not been involved in any way in episodes of bullying, or that they have not been a victim, perpetrator or witness. And the environment in which the greatest number of episodes occurs is precisely the school: 57,3% of the victims claim to have suffered such acts within the classroom and 34,9% within the school (in environments other than the classroom).

How to help a bullied victim

There are many warning signs which may indicate that someone is being bullied and when suspicion occurs it is best to intervene immediately by talking to the child, his friends and teachers. Recognizing the warning signs is important because not all children who are bullied ask for help.

Qualche advice for parents:

  • The first step to take is encourage the child to talk, confide in and open up with you.
  • Identify the bully o the managers is the second step to be able to involve the school (in the person of the teachers or the head teacher).
  • At the same time it is very important to work onself-esteem of the child, encouraging him to do extracurricular activities that meet his passions, in which he can freely express and make new friends.

Why do you become bullies

What are the delivery times? factors that can increase the risk of a child becoming a bully?

  • L'family atmosphere is undoubtedly decisive: if the child grows up in an environment of physical and verbal violence, or if the parents are authoritarian or, on the contrary, excessively permissive, he can, on the one hand, emulate what he has experienced, on the other he can develop a sense of omnipotence;
  • even the school system increasingly competitive plays an important role;
  • I Games and television, with their increasingly violent products;
  • The lack of aempathy education which prevents bullies from perceiving the suffering they cause in victims.
Read also: My child is a bully: what to do?

What to do if your child is a bully

First of all we are careful, we always observe our children and we communicate with them. Parents often discover that their child is a bully only when they are summoned to school, or when the evidence cannot be denied, and until the very end they refuse to believe that their quiet and beloved child has become a bully.

What are the delivery times? signals not to be underestimated in small bullies?

  • They willingly and frequently participate in physical or verbal fights;
  • They have friends who bully others;
  • They are increasingly aggressive;
  • They are often recalled by the principal;
  • They have extra money or come home with new items;
  • they blame others for their problems and do not know how to take responsibility for their actions;
  • They are competitive and concerned about their reputation.

In Coosemans, family coach and author of the book 'What Kids Don't Say', interviewed in this article, explains that certain behaviors must be implemented such as:

  • listen to him and try to understand the reasons for his behavior (was he a victim himself?);
  • set a good example;
  • reward positive behavior;
  • make him apologize to the victims.

National bullying day

Every year the 7 February, on the occasion of Safer Internet Day, the National Day against Bullying and Cyberbullying: an important opportunity to photograph the data relating to the spread of the phenomenon in our country, but also to tell stories, propose solutions and study new methods of intervention.

It cyberbullismo

The advent and growing use of digital devices by the very young has certainly contributed to the evolution of the phenomenon of bullying into one of its "digital version" more subtle and dangerous. Let's talk about the cyberbullying, which consists in committing verbal and psychological violence against the victim using smartphone e tablets and conveying the bullying on chat and on social networks.

The use of a computer or cell phone has a disinhibitory effect: things are said to each other that would never be said in the face. Because of this it became easier to attack. So even the repressed, who would never have been bullies, bring out their aggression and become cyberbullies.

Questions and answers

What to do if you are being bullied?

Talking about it at home is the first fundamental step to make our loved ones aware of the situation and take all necessary precautions. The second step is to discuss it with the teachers and the principal.

Is bullying a crime?

Bullying is a criminal offense and bullies are punishable by heavy penalties. For this reason, when you are aware of or are victims of bullying, you can contact the public force, the Carabinieri and the State Police.

Who to contact in case of bullying?


  • Bullying
  • bullying children
  • causes bullying
  • cyberbullying
  • 6-14 children years
add a comment of Bullying, what it is and how to deal with it
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.