Its a blizzard outside on a Sunday and yours truly is thinking about work. haha..
Anyways, this week we had a day to honour anti-bullying nationally February 22nd was Pink Shirt Day.
However, along with a conversation with the local student counsellor, are we labeling mean/ rude comments as bullying? It was a question that needed to be clarify. The student counsellor decided to ask students about the definition of bullying. Their response “any comment that the other person finds offensive.” After much discussion, secondary students mentioned that this should have been defined from the beginning.
Well they were right..
Myself and the student counsellor decided to go on the FM and talk about this issue to all community members. The word has been thrown around on a day to day and I hear it from kids, educators, and other community members. Sometimes, I even catch myself overusing the word “Bullying” in every conflict that I hear or see.
So, I want to share what was talked about and what questions we can examine as frontliners when having these conversations to our young people.
Bullying (definition): is a target victim that is intended by the bully to hurt. The act needs to be continuous and ongoing towards that one person for it to become a bullying situation.
Below you will find some questions and strategies for parents and frontliners.
Questions to ask: (To figure out if its bullying or not)
- What Happened? (It is important to get the full story from your child and if necessary from the teacher or other community members)
- How often is this act happening? (Is the physical, verbal, cyber, or psychological bullying happening to your son or daughter everyday, once a week, once every two weeks)
- This is an opportunity to check your child’s facebook messages, or snap chat photos
- Does your child feel safe going to school or anywhere else in the community? Are they starting to avoid school because they are being targeted. Are they avoiding recess?
Strategies for parents, Teachers, and other community members:
- If the situation is not bullying but your son or daughter did not like the comment, teach them the power of communication. (Assertive communication allows for less blame and more labeling ones feelings).
- It hurts me when you call me fat.
- It bothers me that you would spread rumours that are not true. Please talk to me
If the situation is bullying:
- Encourage your kids to talk to someone there are 4 ways to fight against bullying:
- Walk Away
- Tell Someone
- Seek for help
Communication is a powerful tool and for many of us we might force the young person to apologize for their actions but we do not take the extra time to talk about how this made us feel. A negative comment or bullying, harm was done and we need to start talking about it.
Thank you for reading- “Be Kind to one another”