School is a place where we send the children to get their education that moulds a child for life time.
Bullying is a process in which we actually harm and humiliate another person and this is done consciously. Bullying is actually a very criminal offence and sometimes it can be extremely harmful. Bullying can happen not only in school, but anywhere and even at a place of work, whenever someone is putting a conscious effort to harm another person, be it verbal or physical. The impact of bullying can be short term or long term. The child being bullied can have sleep disturbances, low self esteem, anxiety, depression, poor eating, no friends, no socializing, etc. These children may actually have poor academic performances also. The latest version of bullying is the Cyber bullying where the number of cases are unimaginable and also increasing very fast.
So what can we do about this? We need to begin with ensuring a warm environment at home, positive parenting and also strong healthy relationships within the family members. This builds resilience in the children, and they feel that they have a safe platform where they can speak freely and share their feelings. Many a times the child bullied thinks that he is equally responsible and somehow tries to keep the information to himself and searches for approval. Amongst junior children in school, a serious concern of bullying is frequent bed wetting. And that’s why parents- you are the social engineers and the first responsibility lies with you.
In school mostly bullying is seen at the physical level on the playground, because in the classroom there is always a significant supervision by the teacher or assistant teacher.
- Parents also need to be regularly checking with your child about their emotional state or if there is something troubling them.
- These days in schools we have their wellness team and their major responsibility is to ensure zero tolerance to bullying.
- A basic awareness among students should be spread along with some guidance on the response pattern.
- A child should generally walk away from the scene instead of getting engaged and involved in retaliating, which may worsen the situation.
- Schools must regularly conduct anti-bullying programs through street plays, small skits and now online awareness as well.
- Wellness teams have counsellors who should be approachable by any child who is going through painful bullying. Every child should be first given an opportunity to deal with it at his own level and then if not solved, to be shared with any significant adult.
- Further anonymity has to be strictly maintained to encourage such kind of offences. Teachers must discuss and talk often on this topic with the students, and how can they safeguard themselves against bullying.
Emotional health is of topmost significance during this pandemic time and therefore bullying must be addressed on priority basis at both places, home and school.