The seriousness of bullying has recently been highlighted in the media and it is important for parents to understand what bullying looks like so that they can educate their child/ren, identify it early if it is happening to them and work with the school to stop it.
Nova Pioneer Paulshof School Leader, Claudia Pienaar, presents a parent video guide on understanding bullying. In this video she tackles these three questions:
What is bullying?
In the video Mrs Pienaar explains bullying as the imbalance of power. Bullying is deliberate, ongoing and the intent is to harm a specific target repeatedly. The goal of bullying is to hurt, humiliate and threaten, also there is no desire for a resolution. It is important for parents to be able to label behaviours of bullying correctly so that the severity of bullying can be taken seriously.
What isn’t bullying?
Mrs Pienaar states that conflict is not bullying, neither is unkindness. It is important for parents to understand the difference between conflict and bullying in order to grasp what isn’t bullying. Even though conflict can be emotionally upsetting to your child, it may not be as emotionally damaging as bullying would be. Also, conflict does not pick at the essence of who your child is as bullying would. She further explains that in a conflict there is an equal balance of power, for example, it isn’t bullying when your child is in a disagreement with someone who is their equal peer. Also, if there is remorse following the fall out or disagreement, it is not bullying.
What to do if your child is being bullied?
In the video, Ms Pienaar encourages parents to reach out to the school for a face-to-face meeting and to be open to dealing with the matter respectfully. It is important for parents to remember that the school team has the child’s best interest at heart and wants to work with parents to find a way forward.
For more information on understanding bullying, watch the full video here: