Addressing and preventing bullying

Once bullying has been identified, swift action needs to be taken in order to resolve the issue. Families and schools have an important role to play in tackling this. Schools need to maintain bully-free environments, as it will make students perform better academically and co-operate better with one another as well as with teachers. As far as families are concerned, they need to be aware that keeping their children safe from bullying is ideal for children’s intellectual, social and emotional development.

Teachers and parents need to play specific roles, and should take actions that:

  • Their understanding of the victim’s distress, and
  • Their commitment to preventing further bullying.

This might involve separating the bully and the victim, addressing each of them individually, and spelling out clear consequences for the person who has engaged in bullying. Counseling and support may also be necessary for the victim to address the emotional and/or psychological trauma of being bullied. It is also essential to develop the interpersonal skills necessary to prevent further victimization.

This is only a very small part of the solution, however, and our broader objective should be to change the culture within families and schools to encourage feelings of safety, confidence and self-acceptance in our children.

Bullying not only demoralizes a child, but also creates a huge negative impact on individuality. It needs a combined effort from parents and teachers to stop it at the very first instance.