|Posted on October 25, 2010 at 7:21 PM||comments (0)|
Part Three - Preventing and Diminishing Bullying in the Future
Recently, I was on a chat with preschool teachers and one asked about Heartwood Institute Curriculum, I found it timely as they have a bullying prevention program. The program names the seven universal ethical attributes: courage, loyalty, justice, respect, hope, honesty, and love. In essence similar to the seven virtues of prudence, justice, restraint or temperance, faith, hope, and love or charity.
Perhaps it’s the lack of attributes/virtues in the lives of children that make them the potential bully and/or victim. These traits are things all children need to grow, thrive, and lead happy successful lives.
Model Ethical Interactions.
Based on the attributes above, are you helping your charges develop to the best of their abilities. Do they have confidence and self-esteem? Do they know boundaries in acceptable behavior? If you think there can be improvement in these areas, introduce these attributes to them. Find books for the kids to read on these topics with characters that have these traits. Do projects and activities that bring out these desired characteristics in them. If you need ideas for this go to the internet and type in key words and you will find many places and resources to turn too.
• Suggest the kids, guidance counselors, faculty, and staff conduct a student survey to determine the types and extent of bullying within the school and use findings to inform bullying prevention and intervention programs.
Do you have a relationship with your charges teachers and school that you could volunteer on something like this? Or, perhaps through the place you worship? A few years ago I worked on a project that addressed self-esteem, respect cliques, and bullying among tween girls. OR, are you involved with a nanny association or group that can have a workshop on this!
• Engage bullied students in designing policies to address bullying. If a parent suspects his or her child is bullying other students, Holt says it is critical that parents of bullies be clear that they do not support the behavior. Not only should they contact the school, but they should enforce rules regarding behavior and get their child involved with positive social activities.
If you do have the charge who could be a bully, through your own observation you might have an idea of why they are being this way? Are there things you can do to help your charge? Do they need help with boundaries, or self-esteem, are they being ignored abused and neglected by their parents and maybe you need to report this to someone?
Articles linked in Part Two of this series provide advice too based on a range of situations.
If there is a situation of abuse or neglect get help in dealing with that through the school’s guidance counselors or your areas department of family service, you can do this anonymously.
Tune into your charges, even if you are tired and they might be trying your patience. Trust your gut if you think something could be wrong.
|Posted on October 25, 2010 at 7:08 PM||comments (0)|
PART TWO – Dealing With Bullying
According to Melissa Holt, research scientist with the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center, offers the following suggestions for dealing with bullying:
For students ...
• Tell someone: school staff, parents, and other trusted adults about the bullying. Often children are afraid to talk to an adult because they fear retaliation or being viewed as a tattler.
• Take a friend, or group of friends, along when speaking to a trusted adult. This approach creates a community of support and provides a model for how to address these issues.
• If students feel comfortable and safe, speak up when a classmate is being bullied.
• Treat others with respect.
For parents (AND NANNIES):
• Model respectful interactions.
• Talk with your child and create a space in which they feel safe to discuss their fears.
• Be aware of warning signs of bullying and talk to your child about what is going on.
• Know your children’s friends.
• Take time to connect with your children.
• If your child is being bullied, alert school officials and help your child get assistance.
NEVER tell your child to ignore the bullying as this can increase the seriousness of the problem.
• Expect the bullying to stop. By setting a high standard, parents are demanding that change and consequences occur. They are also empowering the child to take action and shed the victim role.
For teachers/school staff (The sections in italics, I have added in)
• Create a school climate that does not tolerate bullying.
Create a home climate that doesn’t tolerate bullying. Don’t let your charges treat their siblings, friends, neighbors, you and others in ways that encourage bullying habits to develop.
• Oftentimes instances of bullying include a large audience of students and teachers (or parents, siblings, other relatives, neighbors, nannies, and others). Include bystanders in discussions about bullying and how to better intervene the next time.
Many really don’t know how to proceed, because of the way they were brought up or the culture you live in. They may very well be looking for guidance and suggestions too.
Pay attention to headlines out there about a situation where a child or group of people was/were bullied. Start conversations with your charges and their friends about what happened and what people could have done differently to get help.
• Target interventions on peer groups since those who bully often have peers that encourage bullying.
Sometimes when there are sibling groups, they can gang up on each other. Step in when it seems that they are being unfair and hurtful. Or if the children are out in the yard playing with neighborhood kids be alert to situations that seem to have a bullying quality to them.
• Respond quickly to bullying episodes. Most importantly, let students involved in the bullying episode and bystanders know that you do not condone this type of behavior.
• Develop classroom activities that include all students.
At home, encourage them to play together at times and join them, create arts and crafts together, cook, and do chores as a crew.
• Increase adult supervision at times that bullying occurs most frequently, such as at recess and during lunch.
If they are playing in the yard with the neighbor kids and playdates, be outside too. Eat with them if their parents aren’t there, I can cite so many studies conducted on why it is important for families to have meals together and if the parents can’t be, then be there for them.
• Obtain training in how to recognize and respond to bullying.
If you have a child in your life who you think might be the victim or the bully, empower yourself with education to help you. Childcare Lounge offers an online class geared toward younger children
Bullies: How to Manage and Prevent Their Behavior.
Another course I have taken which I find is more relevant for school age children is Bullying Training offered through the Sub-Hub, another online workshop. ($20.00) Both come with certificates when you complete training, so this is a nice thing to add to your resume and/or portfolio.) Or, read articles in magazines and on websites.
Here are some
• Integrate materials into the curriculum that address bullying.
Do you have books on bullying in your home; they might be picture books and chapter books? There are movies too as the children get older. Refer to the library and Amazon for this and choose ones that may be the right ages and interests of your charges. So of the links listed above also provides titles that you might consider too.
I have also had charges and known other children who have taken self defense courses and martial arts classes. The good ones will teach children that this is to protect them, not to become aggressors. Sometimes there is comfort in knowing that they know this, especially if the aggressor is something worse than a school bully.
Part Three - Preventing and Diminishing Bullying in the Future (Next Post)