How To Protect Children From Bullying


Blog | Live life, love learning

June 20, 2024

Helping kids deal with bullying

Bullying on Social Media

Before we send our children out on the road alone on their bikes for the first time, we explain the traffic rules to them and practise with them.

43% of tweens (aged 8 to 12) and 88% to 95% of teens (aged 13 to 18) have their own smartphone (Rideout et al., 2022; Pew 2022), according to an article from Common Sense Media (2023). How many of these children were given their phone without ever having been prepared for bullying, phishing or cybergrooming? How do our children acquire the necessary media skills to recognize influencer advertising, expose fake news or deal with bullying?

Of course, there has always been bullying in schools. It used to be about pushing or flicking paper balls. Today, it’s mainly about insults on TikTok, Instagram and WhatsApp. There are many bad examples among adults and so our children quickly learn that attacks on social media are completely normal. 

The more often a child reads negative messages, for example about their appearance, the more often the brain makes this neural connection. At some point, this connection becomes a highway and the child firmly believes that they don’t look good enough.

Educating students to protect themselves from bullying

Our Middle Years Principal Anastassia Srepel Gallo, M. Ed has a Master’s in Neuroscience. She educates our students (and their parents!) about the effects of bullying on the brain, body and psyche. She has developed a mandatory curriculum that teaches students basic social and emotional skills. It uses content from commonsensemedia.org, among others, as a basis. During Homeroom time, the pupils learn the most important things about social media, nutrition, social skills and much more on a weekly basis.

Unfortunately, bullying cannot be completely prevented. Children need to learn to set clear boundaries and say no. They need to learn that they don’t have to please everyone. They learn that they benefit from a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, exercise and social contact.

What experiences have you had with bullying on social media?


Ingo Stolle, Member Board of Directors at Cologne International School

Source: Das erste Smartphone für Ihr Kind – Tipps für Eltern