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Letter to my Children : Bullying

Dear Children

I am writing this because I have coached many students in my teaching career and as I coach kids with learning difficulties now, I see bullying having a marked effect on the mental health and enjoyment of a child’s learning and development at school.

That got me thinking about how anyone, including the child, and his parents, can assist or demonstrate some actions on how to prevent him or herself from being bullied.

GOOD SELF IMAGE I think the first thing to prevent being bullied is to like yourself for who you are -just ARE ..being accepted for what IS, not what will be (in future)..who knows what will happen in future..what matters is now<3. So I guess if you become parents, always affirm, never tear down a child’s dignity and natural love of himself and the world..always aim to encourage, not to destroy his or her faith..I call it building a ‘healthy state of mind and spirit and fostering a healthy growth of one’s sense of self and image of self.

SETTING ACHIEVABLE EXPECTATIONS / STANDARDS If you become a parent or your friends become a parent, please tell them this..it  is natural for any parent to set expectations for their child but just make sure they are are not ‘over-high’ expectations that the child needs huge effort to achieve – it is really off-putting when you have to achieve someone else’s goals  which is (currently) beyond one’s natural aptitude.. you’ve been there, understood that:) It definitely does not make one feel good and encourages one to becoming an easy  victim of bullying.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE ‘BATTLEFIELD’ It is not cool to be clueless – really!! Please go find out more about the school you are in…the rules..the regulations..NO ONE needs  to tell you anything…or fight for you when you are in trouble there and then.. you HAVE to improve your relations with your classmates, know more about their likes and dislikes, know what is expected of you in your role as a student, in your school…it is a critical first step…on hindsight I am glad I taught you organisation ,fact-finding as well as ‘how to ask for things’ (oral skills) when you were younger..and just ‘rehearsed’ them along the way as you got older..I hope it helped you at school.

STAND BY WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN  even if you are the last one standing. Never really understood this when I was growing up, but now that I am middle-aged (yea I took a looong time to realise stuff..stop sniggering), there is ‘this inner voice’ that tells you things – listen to it, it’s called instinct…some call it conscience…parents call it ‘values’ …and believe you me, stand by it ..it will engender good practices in your work and in building your reputation as a person of integrity..it is necessary…there are just ‘un-nice’ people out there..you have to stand your ground…and yes, you have a choice.

STEP UP YOUR SKILLS  Hmm.. in the growing up years, this will involve courage – ..confront your fears or lack of abilities head on.. these ‘lack-ofs’ will come back repeatedly to haunt you if you do nothing about it…you will concurrently need resolve and discipline to foster your abilities and skills…if you do nothing , you will encounter bullying..you might as well improve and grow stronger..by growing stronger, it engenders this empowering human quality called ‘self-confidence’ too!

Have Faith and Do No Wrong too!

Your caring mum

 

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