Bullying at school

As part of the national day against school bullying, we ran workshops throughout the month of November to raise children’s awareness on this important topic and strengthen their social skills.

During their studies, they will all be victims, actors or witnesses of the violence of a group whose codes are always structured to the benefit of the strongest (or the most flexible) and to the detriment of the most vulnerable (or the most rigid).

It is therefore essential to initiate this reflection early on in order to identify the different forms of school violence, to develop strategies but also to strengthen the narcissistic foundations. The aim is to equip each child with the capacity to face relational distress, to develop social skills that will be useful as adults, and above all to reinforce positive cognitions.

Indeed, a child who manages to defend themself in the face of violence validates the cognition “I am capable”. In the future, he or she will be better equipped to deal with similar situations, thanks to the memory of previous events where he or she was able to regain control of a situation.

Our sessions in class focused on:

The definition of bullying at school

It is about the repetition of “small actions” which always involve the same people who either perpetuate them or are the victims. The notion of repetition of ‘minor’ misbehaviour is essential; just like that of intention : the objective is to cause harm. In class, we worked around situations of rejection or ignorance, mockery, bad influence and extortion.

The emotional consequences

  • Withdrawal
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Social anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Refusal to go to school

Collective actions

  • Act with kindness and care for others,
  • Understand the notions of sharing and inclusion,
  • Inform people you trust (parents, mistress, nanny, etc.) in the event of violence, whether experienced first hand or observed, and do not hesitate to ask for help.

Individual actions

Emmanuelle Piquet, psychologist and author, reminds us that bullying is not structured around a typical profile of children (e.g. redheads, little ones, good students, etc.) but around the perception of vulnerability. To prevent bullying, it is therefore important to strengthen the child’s ability to:

  • Set limits and learn how to say “NO!” »:

Discussing this strategy in class opened the conversation to the more general concept of consent.

  • Protect yourself in case of attack with “verbal defence arrows”.
  • Strengthen self-esteem (value or judgement that one attributes to self) and self-confidence (inner security and feeling of being able to trust oneself).

In order to help you better support your children on these issues, we recommend that you read Emmanuelle Piquet's book ‘Te laisse pas faire!’ (2014).

Laurène Lahierre, School counsellor at La Petite Ecole Singapore