New Zealand is a great country to bring up children as the environment is fantastic for kids. At school there is holistic education; It is not only about academics but they learn about the arts,sports,outdoor education, drama and more. There is however one thing I find difficult to cope with. This is the high percentage of bullying as you can see here. As I helped out at school a lot in the past, I have heard about it and seen it happening.
One mum told me that her child was not allowed to play with the other children. Her child tried to find a connection but then one child started to spread a rumour through the school that her child had a contagious decease. This resulted in everyone running away from the child when he approached and he also got physically hurt. The mother went to the teacher but nothing was done. The police came to the school to raise awareness about bullying and the mother of one of the bullies went to the teacher and told her that the bullying towards the child had to stop as she learned that her own child was bullying. This was very courageous of the mother. The result was that the bullying stopped and the child who was bullied was suddenly included. Every one learned from this.
I do think the schools are trying more and more to stop bullying but it is a difficult task. As you learn from the poem in the above video it is very important to keep working on it.
There are different reasons for bullying; Lack of empathy, the child has been bullied themselves and as a result of authoritarian parenting with high use of controlling and punitive discipline or simply like he said in the video; because we are afraid of our own abandonment.
It is not easy to change these influences. What can be done though is to make sure there is a no-tolerance towards bullying. I think however that it is even more important to teach children how bullying effects others. I always tell the children I work with, that they have to treat each other with respect. When they use harsh language towards someone else I stop them straight away. Exclusion of children isn't allowed. Problems don't disappear overnight but we keep working on it.
I think social and emotional development should be a taught at school. Especially in this computer era where children get less practise in social interaction. Philosophy would also be on my wish list so children learn to question things and not blindly follow the crowd.
We all can however play a role. By being respectful and tolerant to others we will be great role models and we will change the world one step at the time.