It is not uncommon for children to argue with each other for whatever reason, be it at school, in the park or even at a friend’s house. In fact, children’s fights are very frequent and are part of the desire to confirm their individuality or come from their fears or their inability to assertively express their emotions.
However, although it is a fairly common and even understandable phenomenon, that does not mean that parents should not take action on the matter. On the contrary, it is important that you understand what happened and that you talk about it with your child, especially if he has been attacked.
Shy and withdrawn children are more likely to suffer school violence but, in a general sense, any child can become a victim of the aggressiveness of their peers or older children. This often worries parents, not only for the physical consequences but also for the psychological wounds that may remain. However, the attitude assumed by parents in a situation of violence towards their children is usually decisive and determines the psychological impact that the event will have on the child. What to do?
Listen to your child before getting angry and threatening the bully with violence. Don’t lose your cool and ask what happened. Avoid assuming the role of judge and do not criticize the behavior of your child or the other child. Keep in mind that your child has done what he believed best. So don’t judge him, just listen. Never tell him that he has not known how to defend himself because this will only damage his self-esteem and promote violence. Remember that you can turn this unfortunate event into an opportunity to develop their Emotional Intelligence.
Dig into the details
Sometimes children do not tell everything that has happened in a fight, either because they are embarrassed, afraid or simply because they have forgotten some details. Find out what happened, ask him: What happened before the blows? Have you had problems before? Who was present while you were fighting? What did you do after? Did you tell the teacher? It is not about looking for culprits and victims but about having more details about what happened. Sometimes just being able to tell what happened has a liberating effect and the child will feel more relieved.
Teach him to express his emotions
Regardless of what happened in the fight, it is vital to know how your child feels about it. Perhaps he will tell you without major problems, but if he is a little shy and introverted, it is likely that he will have a hard time expressing his feelings. You can help him by asking: How did you feel at that moment? and how do you feel now? This is a great exercise for the child to learn to recognize and express their emotions, the first step to get to control them. In fact, did you know that children with low Emotional Intelligence are more likely to be victims of violence at school?
Promotes dialogue as an alternative to violence
Teach your child that before coming to blows, it is better to talk. Perhaps in this way, the next time you find yourself in a similar situation, you can avoid a violent outcome. Invite him to reflect on the causes of the incident and ask if there is anything he could have done to avoid the fight. Sometimes, although the child is beaten in the fight and can be classified as the victim, he has also contributed to adding fuel to the fire. In fact, it is about teaching him to put out the flame instead of fan it.
Trust your child
It is important that you support your child and make him feel safe. Let him know that, whatever he decides and whatever he does, I can tell you and you will both find a solution. Remember that beyond the fight, the fundamental thing is that the child trusts you and knows that when faced with a problem, he can turn to your help, without feeling ashamed or belittled.