Bullying: Questions to ask your child to find out whether they are being bullied
CHILDLINE South Africa describes bullying is an offence, a violation of a child’s right to physical and psychological safety.
Bullying is being teased, called names, having your money taken, being beaten up, being left out and ignored.
Bullies are found in most schools and communities. Even in the most disciplined or positive schools there may be isolated incidents of bullying. Both girls and boys can be bullied and be bullies.
Bullying has led to children committing suicide or dropping out of school because of the stress of being bullied.
Bullying hurts everyone involved, and it can leave deep, lasting scars.
With teamwork between parents and the school community, it can be stopped.
Parents, to find out if your child is being bullied ask:
- Do you get physically hit, kicked, punched, pushed around?
- Do you get called names, laughed at, made fun of or verbally insulted?
- Do your friends talk behind your back, spread rumours about you and/or exclude you from the group?
- Do you get sexually harassed at school?
- Are schoolchildren using the internet, chat rooms, social media and so on to say hurtful things about you?
- Do you bully other children?
- When someone bullies you, what do you?
- When you see somebody else being bullied, what do you do?
- How safe do you feel at school?
The role of educators with regards to bullying
Educators have to help eliminate bullying. Some ideas:
Set an example by treating all children with respect. Never pick on a physical characteristic or a difference when disciplining a child. Teaching children to be assertive. Boosting every child's self-confidence will help them deal with bullies.
All schools should have an anti-bullying policy that seeks to protect all children. It is very important that learners know that all forms of bullying are unacceptable within the school.
It is also important to be aware of the needs of a child who is a bully. Bullying behaviour is sometimes a sign that the bully is experiencing problems at home.
Indicate to a bully that their behaviour is unacceptable. In addition, be prepared to work with the bully to help them find alternative ways of behaving.
If your child needs to speak to someone, Childline SA has counsellors that are available, 24/7 on the following number, 0800 55 555. It's free on all networks.