Yesterday I heard the news of an 11-year-old child who committed suicide in Bradford due to some children picking on him at school. I felt terrible to hear the news. At such an innocent age when the child should be worried about finishing his homework or going out to play with his friends, he was instead bothered by a bunch of kids already suffering from the superiority complex.
Bullying is becoming a serious issue in our society and it is now taking a toll at schools. A place where children should be feeling safe and secure, they are actually going through nerve wrecking situations. Few of the headlines that I came across regarding this child were actually blaming the mother for not giving attention to the child but Allah knows best what the real situation was. Right now instead of spreading the news in order to play the blame game it will be wiser to actually focus on how we can eliminate bullying from our society.
A Request: Please do not share the picture of the child because their family has requested so.
So how can we address bullying in our immediate environment? Well, it is not just the responsibility of one person but us as the members of the society as a whole need to look and act upon it in an appropriate manner.
Advice for Parents on Addressing Bullying
As parents, try your best to educate your child regarding the consequences of bullying someone. Give them examples of how they would feel if someone would make fun of them. Use stories from the life of our Prophets and Sahaba. Make the discussion interactive so that your child can accept if he or she is involved in bullying someone or is the victim of bullying.
In case, your child confesses that they are bullying someone, do not scold them. Scolding and punishing will only teach them that next time they shouldn’t be honest with you. Instead talk to him using the emotional aspect of how that child must be feeling each time he gets bullied. Reinforce your child for being honest and tell them that they will now have to fix what they have done wrong.
Next, help them in the process of fixing their mistake.
If your child is the victim….
Now if the situation comes out that your child is being bullied, I’d suggest that you give them as much support as possible. Find out who those people are and where is your child getting bullied. You will now have to confront this matter along with your child (not alone). If it is in the school then have a talk with the school authorities. If it is in the playground in your area then find out who the child’s guardians are and have a talk with them.
Advice for Teachers on Addressing Bullying
Teachers are the next important people to parents because they get to spend half of the day with children. During this time they need to be vigilant and observe if any student is getting picked on. As teachers, your sole purpose is not just to teach but to also help shape their personality and if a child under you is getting bullied then how are they suppose to trust any authority figure next time. Also, if some child is able to get out of bullying under your supervision then they will never learn to respect their authority figures in the future.
I’d say that you have a friendly discussion in the classroom to communicate about bullying. Address the consequences of bullying. You can also involve them by telling stories related to bullying and how it had impacted both the victim as well as the bully. Encourage your students to open up if they see someone getting bullied.
In case if cases of bullying come up you will have to get involved in them wisely. Find out the reason behind why the child is bullying the other child. Bullying always has underlying issues. Fix a meeting with the parents of the victim and the bully separately to help sort out the problems of both the children.
Advice if you see someone getting bullied
Stand up at all times if you see any child getting bullied. As a part of this society, you must take responsibility for addressing the problematic issues of your society. Bullying is no less than a crime.
You guys might be wondering that why am I showing so much concern for the bully. Well, most of the times bullies are a result of the bad consequences they have gone through. By just saving one child from the bully does not help in fixing the issue. We need to get to the root of the problem and that is to look into the matters that are causing the child to turn into a bully.
Do have a look at one of the article I had written for BabyGaga – What Causes Children to Turn Into a Bully?
Jazakillah khairun kaseerun