News Local What should we know about bullying?

What should we know about bullying?

School psychologist Dialehti Hatzoudi was invited by ACTIVE radio on Thursday to talk about bullying, on behalf of the organisation Hope for Children.

The most important thing parents and the society in general should do about bullying, Hatzoudi said, is to make sure that they understand what bullying is.

A good sign which can alert parents if their child is a victim of bullying is changes in behaviour.

These behaviours can be:

  • Changes in sleep – for example if the child reports difficulties in falling asleep or seeing nightmares
  • Changes in nutrition – especially in adolescence, if the child has reduced appetite
  • Mood swings – if the child suddenly looks very sad or wants to isolate itself
  • Changes in socialising – if the child does not want to communicate with other people or does not have at least one close friend

However, the parents must be careful and not rush to label a child as a victim of bulling or other children as perpetrators, Xatzoudi said.

“Through school visits and conversations we have with parents we see that more and more people are aware about instances of bullying in schools,” she said and added that the parents should stay calm and look at the full picture.

“We should view the children who cause the bulling with compassion, as many times they too face many difficulties. They too are in need of help,” she said.

What causes bullying?

According to Hatzoudi, school bullying is a very complex social phenomenon and it is not easy to attribute it to a specific cause. However, one common instigator is difference, she said.

“It is the difficulty that children have in accepting different characteristics of other children. These characteristics could be physical or behavioural, for example if a child is shy or not so popular.”

She added that it’s important to help children to be able to accept that not everyone is the same, without this meaning that the children who are different, are inferior.

Measures against bullying

Asked to comment on the effectiveness of existing school programmes against bullying, Hatzoudi said that although many bear positive results, these programmes should be incorporated regularly in the school system.

“It needs time to for serious change to happen, without this meaning that we should quit,” she said.

Hope for Children has created an Observatory for School Violence, Hatzoudi said.

“We have tried to influence some schools and we also started the programme BeatBullying to educate pupils, which in turn will influence other pupils. Children have the power to affect other children,” she added.

Read more:

Top Stories

164 new cases, one death announced on Tuesday

 The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 176,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Wednesday, 20 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Parking place Sklavenitis supermarket, Germasogia 08:30-16:30 Grigoris Afxentiou Square 08:30-16:30 Parking place...

Italy’s Mount Etna erupts at night time

Long streams of red-hot lava flowed down Mount Etna as Europe's tallest and most active volcano erupted again.   At 10,926 feet, Etna is the continent's...

Cyprus secures another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines

Through additional procedures of the European Commission, Cyprus secured another 565,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, increasing the number of orders from the specific company...

Everything ready for inoculations among enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites

All necessary arrangements have been made to start inoculating against COVID-19 the enclaved population and those who repatriated in the Karpas peninsula and the...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...