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Parental Role in Curbing Bullying

One of the roles of a parent involves raising a socially healthy child and influencing their children’s attitudes and behaviour positively. It is often said that parents are the first teachers that their children come in contact with; children learn, emulate and replicate the behaviours present in their immediate environment. It is pertinent that as a parent you teach your child how to treat people with respect and kindness.

Records show that children who are raised in hostile/abusive environments have a higher tendency to either be bullied or become bullies themselves. Bullying is one of the prevalent problems in schools today. Bullying can go on for a long time without anyone knowing or even suspecting a thing.  Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behaviour among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Sadly, many cases of bullying go unreported especially online bullying.

Parents can help to protect their children from bullying by teaching them socially acceptable skills and behaviours that include, helping, sharing, problem-solving and negotiation skills. Parents can also become more informed and aware to be able to spot a child who might be a victim or a bully themselves. Learning to recognize the signs or tendencies of a child bully is important, children who show signs of aggression, intolerance or lack of empathy may be bullies or victims. Early detection and intervention help to reduce the impact and spread of bullying.

Here are a few tips for parents to help curb bullying;

  • START EARLY: Parents can start early in talking to their children about socially acceptable behaviour. This helps to instil the right values in the child.
  • MODEL THE RIGHT BEHAVIOR: Children often practice what they see, they learn by watching the adults in their life. Teaching children how to treat others cautiously helps them relate better with their peers.
  • EDUCATE YOUR CHILD ABOUT BULLYING: Parents need to be informed about bullying, and the different forms of bullying which are physical bullying, cyberbullying and verbal bullying. It is important to be abreast of all these in order to help keep your children safe. Parents can also teach ways to respond when they encounter a bullying situation, like walking away, talking to an adult, saying STOP, avoiding trigger situations, speaking up against bullying, and engaging in healthy curricular activities etc.
  • SETTING CLEAR RULES AND EXPECTATIONS ABOUT HOW CHILDREN SHOULD TREAT OTHERS: Developing and emphasizing clear rules helps to guide the child’s behaviour, set expectations and define consequences.
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The fight to end bullying is everyone’s fight. Parents are as involved as the school in ensuring safer environments for every child. We believe parents and schools partnering together to fight bullying is important in winning the battle against bullying.

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