2020 is almost around the corner and with that, the anxiety and excitement of starting a new school year will also be upon us.
International Stand Up to Bullying Day is 15 November and Helene Vermaak, Director at The Human Edge, says that we can all benefit from learning to deal with bullying.
“Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could learn to meet aggression, not with a hasty retreat or violent reaction, but rather with tried-and-true techniques for respectfully resolving differences,” says Vermaak.
Vermaak’s tips to assist children in dealing with bullying at school:
- Build a support network as children that are being bullied often feel isolated and alone. Help them surround themselves with friends that will support them and stand by their side when they are being bullied.
- Identify teachers or prefects that you or your child can approach.
- Before approaching a representative of the school to have this crucial conversation with, be sure that you gather all the facts – what occurred, who said what and why?
- Share your good intentions – start the conversation with what you or your child would like to see as the outcome of the conversation.
- Describe the gap – factually describe what happened and compare this to what behaviour is expected.
- Ask an investigative question and listen to the response – once you have introduced the issue, without making acquisitions and, laid it out in a non-judgemental way, ask a question that will reveal whether the school leader is aware.
- Remind your child that they always have control over how they respond to the bully. If one approach doesn’t work, there are alternative approaches. The situation can always be resolved.
Many children aren’t chatterboxes and as they get older children tend to share less, especially with their parents. As a result, many parents may not even be aware that their child is being bullied. This means that parents should look out for changes in the child’s behavior.
Here are a view easy ways to recognise behavior changes:
- An attitude change to school and activities that they previously enjoyed.
- A feeling of isolation and disengagement – they will often bring this behaviour home, where the whole family will experience it.