Stop those bullies now!

Recently I have been coming across too many instances of kids being bullied in school.

Today I am addressing the younger lot between three and ten who may have a hard time expressing their plight or their experiences and how as elders we can reach out to them.

I have also posted at the end of the feature, an interesting link of how older children can prevent being intimidated in school.

For me the definition of bullying is just not limited to a big kid pushing a smaller one or even two kids punching each other. For me it is about the bystanders, teachers, Principals and elders who don’t address it or take a strong stand on it.

I remember as a nine year old child I always stood up to a bully who bullied others. Luckily nobody bullied me, maybe because I was over confident as a child but that didn’t stop me from protecting the dark horse or the timid goose.

Recently one of my friends adopted son at eight came home crying one day, “my teacher said that I don’t belong to you.”

I was appalled. Not as much as the mother of course. When the mother addressed it with the School Principal, she was told that nothing of that sort ever happened. Blunt Denial!

The Chapter at school ended there, for my helpless friend couldn’t pull out the child in the middle of term but it was her prerogative to break this piece of information to her child gently and slowly and no one else’s business. It was too late.

The questions and the sleepless nights that followed were horrifying for the parents.

Another instant where a friends six year old came home from school one day howling that she didn’t want to live because the kids at school teased her about a skin condition. The mother had to change her school at once; she couldn’t risk making the child lose her morale and her innocence at such a tender age.

When I asked what the teachers said, she said nothing! In Fact they had also isolated her in class from games and workshops for the same.

This is my conclusion, that when one kid attacks another physically or verbally asserting his superiority, it is the role of the teacher or an authority figure to immediately intervene and nip it in the bud.

If the teacher is indirectly involved which means not pulling up the oppressor, keeping silent, nagging or taunting the child in class or being indifferent; she or he is an equal participant.

In this case waste no time in pulling them up and the parents of the violator. Playing the good guy or the timid one will not serve you or your child any good.

When parents take admission in a particular school it is not the school doing them a favour, rather the parents giving their prized possession in the hands of strangers in the hope that they would create something more beautiful than he or she already is.

Schools are here to bring the best out in your children; they are the bridges to their adult life.

I would not say that all schools are like this or that; or it is this simple ; for I am aware it is almost impossible for a given teacher to monitor each and every child in a class of thirty and more, all the time but one can prevent it from taking a turn for the worse.

Here are some of the ten things I have collected from parents of children who have been bullied one time or the other, that may help in tricky situations like these :

  • Stop laughing at it or making light of the situation when it happens. Don’t ridicule him or her for being shy or inactive. Teach the child to take a stand. It may be to call upon other friends for help, alert the authority in charge and show courage.

  • Believe your child when they tell you. Always believe your child! Children lie but they are not liars!

  • Address it immediately with the said parent of the child or the teacher involved.

  • If a teacher is nit picking on your child constantly, approach her and understand her point and then say yours. If after that it still continues, take it up with a higher authority.

  • Don’t be afraid to put it on paper and hand it over. That way there is no confusion in what you expect from the institute and what measures you plan to take, if it happens again.

  • Talk to your child everyday for fifteen minutes at least. Seek to understand how it may be affecting them. Do not disregard the child’s role in it; chances are he may have set the ball rolling…

  • Bring forth your point in a kind and justified manner, rewarding him for good behaviour and reprimanding once in a way for disobeying. Make sure it is not in public. There is nothing worse than public humiliation. It is as bad if not worse than being bullied by his/her peers.

  • Make sure he or she can tell you anything and everything. Do not punish them for being honest even if it is for something you don’t agree at all. Later you can tell them right from wrong. Listen. Don’t judge. Confident children are less likely to be bullied.

  • Make sure he or she is in a positive conducive environment of praise and encouragement, tip off relatives and close friends to pat the child on the back once in a way even if it is for something small as drawing a flower or scoring a goal. Keep him surrounded by healthy play dates and same interest groups that enhance his/her self esteem.

  • Avoid bullying tactics with your spouse, your other kids, your siblings and at home. The child has to feel that the behaviour is unacceptable in any situation at any stage in life.

 

Check out: https://nobullying.com

https://nobullying.com/7-ways-to-avoid-bullying-when-in-a-new-school/

Valentineship

So who said Valentine’s day is only about the other half? If that was the case then most of us would be roaming clueless for the rest of the year.
So today I think about the people around us who give us a reason to celebrate this ‘International Love Day’ all year through.
The Real heroes of the Show!
Friends, friends, and friends ….!
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A word that is grossly underestimated and slightly overly used.

 Without adding too much to the introduction, I would like to present to you the the kind of friendships that I have personally come across in my
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life that go beyond gender equations, romantic illusions and unnatural expectations.

And I am certain that you all will be able to draw parallels to your own lives, from it, in some way or the other.

(I have categorized them not cause I believe they can be put under ‘A’ specific column but it’s just easier to share.
Of course they are all entwined together and over lap each other, playing their unique roles in different phases of our lives)

 

The OLD TIMERS
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Oh they are the ones that you know forever.
The ones who have literally seen you in your nappies and climbed trees with you .e
They may lose touch with you over the years but they will never lose heart.

They know your family, your school embarrassments or your college goof ups.
They go beyond FB and Insta. They are your hooks when the world gives up on you.
Cause they still believe in who you were, before the world told you how you needed to be.

They gently remind you of those larger than life, youthful dreams, which you seem to have forgotten. They still bring a smile on your face long after the moment has faded away.

The SUPPORTERS

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They are by far the ones who stand with you through thick and thin.
They are the ones you can call up at 2 am (well that depends on who’s on their bed) but you get the gist.
They will buzz to check up on you often if needed or meet you for  a coffee, even if they are drop tired.
If long distance, they will send you regular messages, making sure you know they are around.
They are the ones who believe in your far reached goals, even more than you do and would root your cause when the time comes.
They are also your relationship pegs…when partners, things, careers, other pals around you let you down, they restore your faith that some bonds are made to last and don’t change with time or whim.
The SECRET KEEPERS
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These buds are the ones who keep your darkest secrets and don’t judge your indiscretions. Keep them close to you, cause they know too much. And of wwagawgtfcourse because they accept you the way you are..bag, baggage and all!
The FLATTERERS
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I adore this strange group I call friends; they may not be there on a 24 hr basis and that’s quite alright. But they will think the world of you. They will tell you that your lipstick is a lovely colour even if its smudged all over your face and praise your singing skills even if you croak.
Though some may argue that false flattery must be avoided, I think this group is very important for your self esteem. It is always nice to have some fans….even if it seems superficial; so long as it brings a smile to your face, what the hell!!!
Drink in the compliments….
The PARTY GOERS
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No, they may not end up being your besties forever but they are a social life saver.
These buddies are your de-stressers on a serious day and that missing fun element in your routine. They make plans to hang out, chill and groove.
They are what makes your FB page look glam and your life appear more exciting than it really is.
Their names may change with time but the memories you make with them, the crazy and outrageous escapades you have together… are stories you will be telling your grand kids someday.
They bring in a refreshing transformation even if temporary and come with their own formula of positivism.
 
The WIND BENEATH YOUR WINGS
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These pals are you silent hearts. Their contribution can seldom be measured, for they do it without any condition or fuss. They are happy to stay in the back ground, whilst you learn and grow. But when you look back on your life and think of the ones who genuinely stood by you when the chips were down, who gave you that extra love without you even asking for it, who made you fly when you couldn’t even see the sky…it’s them!
They are the tiny gifts around us whom we forget to give enough credit to, amidst our busy lives.

 

 

The CRITIQUES

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Aha! My least liked group, these energy drainers are the ones who only poke on your faults; they have nothing much to say that adds value and will make you feel like a loser, if you let them.
Personally I delete them immediately if they over stay their welcome.
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I wouldn’t even count them as friends if I didn’t see the silver lining.
Which is-They make you adamant to prove them wrong!
Their constant negativity makes you look at the brighter side and be grateful that you are nothing like them.
The SEASONALS
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 These are the beings who have literally fallen from the sky at the right place and the right time, into your lap! You two, really vibe on a different level and then mostly without warning one or both of you simply drift away.
But not before you fulfill some kind of purpose with each other- either a priceless lesson to be learnt or enriching one other with some timely advice, joy or hope.
These connections are not always meant to last a life time but ultimately they Fit into the grand scheme of things.
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The fact of the matter is that Valentine bunnies may come and go but good friends make the ride easier, happier and more meaningful.
Now….Don’t you think it’s time, you tell them that?