How we can try to become good parents….it’s no mean task.

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Being a parent and a mentor to my own children and my students have led me to pen down my thoughts on how one can “TRY to become a good parent”.

1.Read to them….their horizons widen when you do.
2.Display affection….like a hug, a cuddle or two…it makes their day
3.Listen to your children …..it means the world to them
4.Set rituals like having dinner together , praying at bedtime, share the days experiences etc
5.Give them their space….it’s,good not to know everything
6.Let them make mistakes ….and learn from them.
7.Urge them to keep trying….making mistakes means they are doing just that…encourage them not to give up. Let them realise that you need to work for everything and nothing comes easy in life.
8.Do not preach….they will switch off.
9.Set concrete targets/ goals before them…they learn better that way.
10.Teach them to care. Set examples . They lean best by observation.
11.Do not over parent…..ease them into taking age appropriate tasks
12.Above all set some non negotiables.They will emerge and understand when you say and mean no.
Here’s to bringing up happy children

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Bullying in schools

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   What is bullying? Is it different from teasing? Teasing is done to irritate or provoke another person with constant comments and barbs. Bullying, on the other hand, is an imbalance of power. The distinct difference is that bullied students are unable to defend themselves, they are either insecure or lack the confidence to defend themselves against someone who they consider more powerful. It occurs in different forms such as threats, teasing, name calling, excluding, preventing others from going where they want or doing what they want, pushing, hitting, and all forms of physical violence It is one of the major school safety problems. Bullying affects students’ sense of security.

Bullying mostly occurs at school. It can occur in the following forms:

• Sexual harassment (e.g. Sexual abuse involving unwanted physical contact);

• Ridiculing and ostracizing

• Ragging(which of late has been strictly banned) Children subjected to bullying often suffer it for they are;

• Afraid of Retaliation.

• Fear that they would not be believed,

• Not confident that anything would change as a result,

• Think that their parents’ or teacher’s advice would make the problem worse,

• Afraid that people will call them tattlers   The students who witness feel the same. They all agree that bullying is wrong, but rarely intervene on behalf of the victim. They fear that they could become the next target.  In any bullying act, there is a victim, the ringleader, assistant bullies (they join in), enforcers (they provide an audience or laugh with or encourage the bully), outsiders (they stay away or take no sides), and defenders (they step in, stick up for or comfort the victim).   Bullying Behaviour There are some common symptoms despite country and cultural differences,  

• Bullying more often takes place at school.

• Girls tend to bully girls, while boys bully both boys and girls.

• Consistently, studies indicate that boys are more likely to bully than girls.

• Bullies often do not operate alone. Bullying does not end in elementary school. Middle school seems to provide ample opportunities for bullying, although at lesser rates. The same is true of the beginning years of high school.

• It continues up till early adolescent period of both boys and girls.  How can we prevent bullying  

• Keep communication channels open- Parents, school faculty and other adults should listen to the children and be available to talk to them.

• Be alert to symptoms of strange behaviour: as parents, teachers and adults you need to closely watch symptoms of withdrawal, disinterest or unwillingness to go to school and fear among children.

• Teach children to respect others : “Do unto others as you would have others to do unto you” sums it all up • Set school policies and rules : have a school mission statement “treat all with respect”….reward students who show respect for peers and adults

• Establish a clear reporting system for any violations.

• Have house meetings /classroom meetings(circle time) wherein good behaviour is appreciated and speak to the students about their conscience during such meetings. Talk about some case studies and get them to analyse behaviour.

• Monitor student’s body language and observe the reaction post discussion. Do a thorough follow up and help the students

• Form an anti bullying club and encourage students to confide in council members. Complete confidentiality should be maintained  

• The school counselor to be actively involved In all to sum up….. Bullying in schools can be prevented or at least marginalized initially and done away with completely if there is consistency in the approach.