Whenever there is an issue that needs to be solved, the first step is to define it. Without definition, tackling it becomes a lost cause due to a lack of direction. Children are often the target of bullying, but they find it impossible to deal with when they are unsure of what is really going on, and it is up to parents and educators to help them know how to tell what is occurring when it happens. Giving them straightforward definitions is the best way to outline the issue, and they can then be given a series of steps to take to solve it.
What Is Bullying
No matter who does it, bullying is comprised of one or more people who are seeking to manipulate the behavior of someone they believe is less powerful than they are at the time. While it might seem to be a good definition, children will have difficulty with some of the words and concepts. For them, bullying is often more about being frightened of someone larger or meaner. Explaining it to them in terms they can understand is important, and giving them words they already know helps them accept the concepts.
Why It Is Wrong
When a child is being bullied by someone else, they know it is wrong. If they are the one who is doing it, they might see it as a way to feel good. Bullies are not necessarily larger or even meaner than others, and they often learn their behavior through trial and error. A child might have been having a bad day, and they suddenly discover that using a particular tone of voice makes their fellow students act in a manner that is pleasing to them. They might go on to repeat the experiment the next day, and a new bully is born when it works again. Teaching them that their actions are not gaining them true friendship is a good start on letting them know their behavior is wrong, but they need to also see how it affects others in a negative fashion.
The younger students need all the help they can get when it comes to being able to make adults around them understand their needs, so giving them a set of straightforward definitions for being bullied is important. It provides them with the vocabulary they need to describe their situation, and it helps the adults understand them without a lengthy list of questions. Making it easy and safe to report bullying behavior is the best way to combat the issue, and Primary Works has a slide show package for anti-bullying KS2 students that will give them a clear set of words to help them define and report any issues.
Keeping students safe is an important part of the work educators do, but it is not always easy when it comes to being bullied by other students. Giving them good definitions, and setting out clear rules is the best way to keep them from being overrun by others, and it can also help students who have discovered how to be bullies to take a step back from their bad behavior.