The Fight Against Bullying
Our EA is in his first grade in big school and one big factor in choosing a school for him was the safe environment, whether outside (within vicinity) and most especially inside the school and classroom. I was very particular with the small class size and a co-education environment because it decreases the chance of him being bullied. Read about our big school selection process here.
Bullying is probably one, if not, the greatest concern that parents like us have and think about as we send our children to school everyday. Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as an unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. With the popularity of internet and social networking sites, bullying can also happen there. Nowadays, it is called as cyber-bullying. It is very easy to spread rumors in facebook and twitter or upload videos intending to malign or discredit one’s character. The effect on bullying can be lasting, and if happened to very young children, can forever affect their personality and behavior.
To give us parents somehow a relief, nowadays, bullying is being taken seriously. In EA’s school I appreciated the school’s strong campaign against bullying. During the orientation for parents of new students, there was a thorough discussion of the school’s policies and punishments for bullying. They also educated us parents on different types of bullying and the warning signs of bullied kids. Inside the school premises, anti-bullying campaign are everywhere like this one:
Their campaign calls on not only to the bullies but also to the bystanders, emphasizing their responsibility to stop bullying.
Social media has also active campaigns against bullying. One favorite of mine is from Selena Gomez, because it calls for everybody to participate in going against bullying:
Kid friendly channels like Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network also has campaigns to help educate children:
At home, as parents, we are also alert on the warning signs. Open communication is a key so we always talk to EA about his daily activities in school; what they did, who he played with, how his day was, and how he felt about school that day. From our talks with him we can get a glimpse of his interacton with his classmates, and the type of personalities that his friend have. We also encourage him to be courageous in speaking up; to be voice out if he does not like what is being done or said to him by a classmate.
I think, the best way to fight bullying is to have a solid foundation and support at home. Bullies are mostly kids who have problems at home. Parents must continuously try to maintain an open and honest relationship with their children.
Below are some of the websites you might find helpful. You and your child can check these out and talk about it: