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COPING WITH

BULLYING Dr. Nishat Shams MBBS, MS, PhD Psychotherapist

The use of bibliotherapy has gained increasing support over the past few years as an effective intervention to help children cope with stressful life events. Bullying is a behavior commonly experienced by children and

In bibliotherapy, the children read different books about

adolescents, which may start as early as preschool, increases

famous personalities and identify themselves with fictional

throughout elementary school, and peaks in middle school.

characters and learn their coping skills to face aggression.

Bullying is defined as a specific type of aggression in which

Bibliotherapy can assist children in building confidence and

behavior towards others is intended to harm or disturb,

self-esteem. It attempts to normalize a child's world by

occurs repeatedly over time, and involves an imbalance of

offering coping skills and reducing their feelings of isolation,

power.

reinforcing creativity, and problem solving. It also gives

The other kind of bullying, that is getting a lot of attention in

parents an opportunity to discuss the issues with the children.

modern times, is Cyber bullying. It must now be considered as

In conclusion, remember these points when dealing with bullying:

part of the spectrum of bullying behavior. Children who are bullied exhibit increased health problems, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and, in extreme cases, suicidal tendencies compared to non-victimized peers.

1. Teaching children ways to avoid being bullied is likely to be more effective than attempting to teach them to cope with or to reduce bullying behavior from their peers.

adjustment skills and have decreased academic performance.

2. Teaching problem-solving skills and positive interaction skills is more helpful than methods that make rules and give punishment to discourage bullying.

Some children try to cope by taking revenge or by ignoring

3. Bullying can also be an adult problem.

Additionally, bullied children tend to have poorer social

the bullying person, but this strategy is ineffective and results in increased victimization. Children who respond to bullying by seeking advice from others experience fewer internalizing problems and decreased victimization.

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