Written by Edwina Bunce
🔸 Back to School
The summer holidays are long behind us. However, parents still worry as to whether their child is happy in their relatively new class.
🔸 Bullying – In Its Many Shapes!
Within a school environment, bullying may take several forms. From pushing, leaving someone alone during break time, to hitting – generally repetitively.1 The physical form is the most obvious. Still, it may not be so obvious when you’re not witnessing your child’s experiences at school.
🔸 Signs Of Possible Bullying
How can you identify signs of bullying? Here are some tips for parents to help identify it in its early stages:
- The child might be going through school problems (these might be observed and reported by the school teacher):
- Starts to sit alone;
- Avoids joining a group of children at play time;
- Avoids asking questions in class whenever a difficulty arises;
- The child might be going through social changes (these might be noticed by both teacher and parents):
- Avoids parties or not being invited to them anymore;
- The relationship with fellow classmates does not continue after school;
- Is not chosen to be part of the sports team/games;
- The child might be going though emotional changes (these might also be noticed by both teacher and parents):
- The child might be more anxious, unhappy or secretive than usual amongst other emotions
>>There is no straight line to tell if your child is a victim of bullying as there is a spectrum of possibilities that determine the level of bullying in relation to how the child is coping with it.1<<
Communication is KEY!
Communication is the secret to every relationship! Speak with your child and inform him/her about bullying in simple terms before school kicks off, so that they can understand better if they see or experience bullying themselves.2 Ask them to tell you all about their day – and when that happens keep your distractions away and listen to what they have to say!
1 Raisingchildren.net.au (2017) Bullying: how to spot the signs (Suitable for 3-8 years) [online] Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/behaviour/bullying/bullying-signs [Accessed 3 Sep. 2019]
2 Stopbullying.gov (2017) What You Can Do [online] Available at: https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do/index.html [Accessed 3 Sep. 2019]
bBrave chooses to avoid using the words ‘bully’ and ‘victim’ as bullying cases may be very complex. An individual may very well fall into both categories, and labelling individuals with these categories tend to negatively affect the lives of these people.
bBrave is the first anti-bullying NGO in Malta. Its mission is to raise awareness on the different forms of bullying, to facilitate assistance for individuals suffering from bullying and for the reform of individuals displaying bullying behaviour in Malta.
The Organisation is registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations (VO 1422), the Registrar for Legal Persons (LPA-118), and Aġenzija Żgħażagħ (AZ 252/2017). bBrave is also a Core Member of the Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA), the international coalition of organisations and individuals that are united against bullying.