The RCIPS Family Support Unit is issuing the following advice with regard to bullying and how parents and children should deal with the problem.
What is bullying?
Bullying can mean many different things. These are some ways children and young people have described bullying:
• Being called names.
• Being teased.
• Being pushed or pulled around.
• Being hit or attacked.
• Having your bag and other possessions taken and thrown around.
• Having rumours spread about you.
• Being ignored and left out.
• Being forced to hand over money or possessions.
• Being attacked or teased.
What does it feel like to be bullied?
• It makes you scared and upset.
• It can make you so worried that you can’t work well at school.
• Some children skipped school to get away from it.
• It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you.
• Bullies can make you feel that it’s your fault.
How to stop the bullying?
If you are being bullied, you can do something about it. You can make a difference!
• Tell, tell, tell!
• Practice what you want to say.
• Keep a note or diary of what is happening.
• Don’t give up.
• Ask your parents to visit the school.
• Talk over what to do with a friend, a teacher, your mom or dad or someone you trust.
Remember that teachers have to listen carefully when a child tells them about being bullied. It’s right to tell an adult that you are being bullied and to ask for their help. But you don’t have to let them take over. You can talk with them about what you would like to happen.
Tips to parents on how to deal with your child being bullied
If your child is being bullied at school here are a few tips on how to deal with the situation:
• Report it to the school and give the school the opportunity to deal with it.
• Request a conference with the school and parents of offending child.
• Open yourself to reasonable suggestions on how to handle the situation.
• Maintain your cool.
• Seek assistance if you feel you can’t handle it on your own.
• Contact and use the resources available to you (The Education Department, school counsellors, etc.)
If your child is being bullied and you feel you have exhausted all avenues, and the bullying continues, report the matter to the police.
Inspector Howell, head of the Family Support Unit states: ‘It is recognized that sometimes the child that does the bullying is going through emotional issues which may stem from being subjected to violence or peer pressure from other children. They may feel that if they don’t do these acts they are not accepted.
‘Children often times live what they learn. That is why we as parents need to provide a violence free environment for our children.
‘Just being a child does not give anyone the right to bully another person, and if they choose to bully there are consequences to be faced.’
For more information on the fight against gender violence and bullying please contact the Royal Cayman Islands Police Family Support Unit at 946-9185.