Children usually face bullying from their peers at school, in the neighborhood or at home, but bullying can have serious and long-term effects on a child’s mental and emotional well-being. Given that children spend much of their time in schools and are at risk of bullying in these places, schools need to act as safe and peaceful environments for children to grow and thrive.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Mohammad Sharif Bhat, Project Office Head, Child Protection India, Jammu and Kashmir, said, “When schools provide quality, inclusive and safe education in a peaceful environment, children learn, build friendships and achieve important things. The skills they need to navigate social situations. Such an environment also motivates teachers and students to become co-teachers in the teaching-learning process. The need is even more acute for the most marginalized children, especially first-generation girl learners.”
He suggested some tips to teach kids so they can protect themselves from bullying:
- Teaching children to recognize abuse:
Teach your child what bullying looks like. Make sure they understand that bullying can be physical, verbal, or emotional.
- Encourage them to speak:
Encourage your child to speak up if they see someone being bullied or if they see themselves being bullied. Let them know it’s okay to talk about it with a trusted adult.
- Develop their self-esteem:
Children with high self-esteem are less likely to be targeted by bullies. Encourage your child to participate in activities that make him feel good about himself.
- Teach them coping strategies:
Teach your child healthy ways to deal with bullying, such as staying calm, using assertive language and seeking help.
Role play different scenarios with your child, so they know how to respond if they are being bullied. Practice using assertive language and standing up for yourself.
Help your child understand the impact their words and actions have on others. Teach them to be kind and empathetic to others.
- Model respectful behavior:
Children learn by example, so it’s important to model respectful behavior in your interactions with others.
She added, “By educating children about bullying and giving them the tools to protect themselves, you can help and ensure that they feel confident and empowered in every situation. Implementing peace education in the school system to make children responsible citizens is the key of the times. demand.”
Bringing his expertise to bear, Ajay Gupta, founder of Bachpan Play School and Academic Heights Public School and co-founder of Rishihood University and Must & More Diagnostic Center, revealed, “Empowering children to protect themselves from bullying is only one aspect. teaching self-defense; It is also important to give them the confidence and courage to stand up for what is right for themselves and others. The goal is to help them grow socially and emotionally so that they can successfully navigate the complex dynamics of interpersonal interactions and recognize when boundaries are being crossed.
He highlighted, “Self-awareness is the first step in learning self-defense because it teaches children to understand their own feelings and reactions to situations. By actively listening, empathizing, and communicating with children, adults can create an environment where children can express themselves honestly. feel safe and supported. It helps children build emotional intelligence, which helps them effectively manage their feelings and reactions. As their emotional intelligence develops, children learn to communicate assertively, set boundaries, and handle conflict constructively. They can. They can learn to identify and reject negative beliefs and behaviors, such as low self-esteem or social exclusion, that put them at risk of bullying.”
He concluded, “Children with these skills can advocate for themselves and others and have a positive impact on their school and community. The ultimate goal of teaching children self-defense techniques against bullying is to foster an environment that values kindness, generosity, and inclusion. Purpose is to build a society where bullying is not acceptable and where children feel valued and capable. By encouraging our children’s social and emotional development, we can help them become the best versions of themselves and create a better future for all.”