The border between pests and bullying

"Maaahaaam!" Carolien calls from afar, "Brenda is bullying me! She says I'm stupid, but she's stupid! I do not want to play with her anymore and she is never more my girlfriend! ' Less than an hour later Carolien and Brenda are again the biggest friends in the sandbox.

Children are true masters in teasing. There is nothing wrong with that, they build up a certain resilience, they learn to cash and deal with conflicts. However, it becomes different when pests turn into bullying.

What is bullying

Bullying is not something of this time, it has been around for centuries. Probably as long as people exist. The term bullying comes from Latin, but the Dutch variant comes from the Pest disease. People apparently found bullying so annoying that they gave it the name of the worst disease on earth at the time.
The difference between bullying and teasing is perhaps a bit difficult to discover at first, yet there are substantial differences. When teasing there is always a certain equivalence. Both parties are well matched and can stand up for themselves. Teasing is changing, sometimes Jantje teases, Pietje and the time after that, Pietje, Jantje, teases. Usually pests also have something funny and there is not so much malicious intent.

Bullying is one-way traffic

This is different in bullying. In bullying, there is always a case of inequality. The perpetrator is mentally or physically stronger. In bullying it is always one-way traffic, so it is always Jantje who pestered Pietje. The third clear difference is in the quantity. Bullying is done frequently and also for a long time, where the way can even lead to injury to the body and / or mind.

Teasing is different than bullying

So, teasing is a bit different than bullying, but unfortunately teachers - as well as parents - do not always manage to recognize bullying. Because of this, it happens that bullying is mistaken for pests. There are many ways of bullying just think of: not being allowed to participate, no one sitting next to you, hitting or kicking, gossiping, laughing, pushing, berating, et cetara. All of them are not fun things and you should not think that your child is a victim of it.

Toddlers and preschoolers

Toddlers and children must still learn all social manners. Sharing together is still very difficult. With two playing toddlers, a toy is regularly pulled from the hands of the other. What the other toddler of course does not like and then the attack bet ... When they are about three years, they learn that you can also ask for something!

Young children too

Even young children are already confronted with bullying or its precursors (not allowed to play, take away toys, etc.). By learning to recognize children early on, causing bullying and bullying, you can try to prevent real bullying in the future.
Beertje Anders can help you and your toddler or toddler.

Bullying at school

It is estimated that more than half of the primary school students are sometimes bullied. Research has shown that bullying is most prevalent in large schools with large classes, where the contact with the teacher is distant and where little is done to improve the mutual atmosphere. In itself also not illogical. Two children to pay attention is fine, but put thirty children together and you get a completely different story.

Social skills

In groups 1 and 2, children still have to learn a lot, also in terms of social skills. In the beginning, the children have no idea what influence their own behavior has on other children - and ultimately on yourself! This is a learning process that will slowly be learned as the children grow older. The real bullying usually does not occur much at this age, although of course there are always children who are more or less popular.

Known bullying

Known harassments at school are: ignoring someone / silencing, gossiping, embarrassing, physical and verbal harassment, extortion, damage and / or destruction of property, criticism and cyberbullying in later life.

How do you recognize bullying in a child?

Being bullied one time is not that traumatizing but when a child is bullied for a long time and does not dare to resist, it is not surprising that at one point he can get psychological complaints such as: inferiority complex, fear of failure, high level of uncertainty in all kinds of areas, adjustment problems and isolation. Physical complaints can be: abdominal pain, sleep problems, headaches, bedwetting and fatigue. No trifles, and certainly no complaints that you give a child! Victims are becoming less interested in bullying, are afraid to go to school and have less and less confidence in their peers.


  • Your child no longer wants to go to school 'suddenly'
  • He complains a lot about abdominal pain and / or headaches
  • No other children ever come to play with you
  • Your child is often angry, withdrawn or sad (and you can not post this)
  • You notice strange bruises or maybe you suddenly miss some stuff from him
  • His school results are getting less
  • Sleep problems, anxiety dreams, nightmares, bedwetting
  • He has a nickname and is almost never mentioned by his own name
  • He suddenly wants to wear certain items of clothing

Not everything is noticeable

Of course, not all signals need to be noticeable with your child, maybe you only see one. But also one signal can be enough to talk to your child. Make the problem negotiable, offer him an opening and keep in mind that your child can be ashamed, so it will not talk about that easily. Of course you can always contact the teacher.

What are children being bullied with?

Children can be bullied for various reasons, but the most common reasons are: (deviant) behavior, clothing, social skills or other deviations (with respect to the group). Since everyone is different, everyone can become a victim of bullying.

Combination of personality traits

Usually there is a combination of certain personality traits with physical weakness. Someone can also deviate from the 'norm'. For example because he has an accent, is smarter, stutters, et cetera. By the way, boys are more often part of bullying (being bullied, or even bullying) than girls.
There can be various motives that bully the bullies. Just think about jealousy, frustration, boredom, venturing out, scared or maybe even bullied yourself. In addition, there are also followers who are themselves - a little bit - afraid of the bully.

How can you prevent bullying?

There are opportunities for school and parents with whom you can try to prevent children being bullied.

Tips for school or daycare

Bullying can be reduced when there is a positive, tolerant atmosphere in the classroom. No major differences in status, pupils have a positive self-image and know how to deal with each other in a good way. They know and accept other people's limits. When there is clear rule about how to deal with each other, there will be less bullying. It is also important that children learn to accept differences.

Bullying protocol

For schools there is also the so-called 'plague protocol'. This is intended to create clarity around the theme of bullying (with teacher, pupil and parents) and the protocol provides clarity on how to act when bullying actually occurs.

Tips for parents

Make your child resilient, teach him to stand up for himself. He must learn to say 'no' and indicate his limits. Give your child within your family the space to practice this.
Teach your child to make choices and indicate what he wants or does not want. Teach him to consult and negotiate possible solutions.

Correct your child

Correct your child when he becomes aggressive or approached aggressively. Aggression should never be accepted.
Pay attention to his general development and let him become as acquainted as possible with different music, different cultures, diversity of habits. Teach him that 'different' is not crazy or weird, but just 'different'. Teach him to accept differences.
Quarrels can not be resolved by force but are pronounced as much as possible.
Give your child regular compliments and show that you love him.

Let him ask for help

Tell your child that he can always ask for help. To you, the teacher or someone else who he trusts.
Solve the conflicts within the family with talking.
Give your child attention and let him know that you find it important to know what he is doing, without giving you the feeling that you are controlling him.

Video: Dealing with Wild Pig Pests on the Farm

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