Learning to be friends to combat bullying – Readilearn

With today 16 March being the National Day Against Bullying and Violence and next Wednesday 21 March being Harmony Day in Australia, now is a good time to think about what it means to be a friend, what bullying is, and how to combat it. Of course, any time is a great time for developing friendship skills, but these special days help to raise awareness.

The purpose of the National Day Against Bullying and Violence is fairly clear in its title. Harmony Day is for celebrating cultural diversity. “It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.” That sounds very much like friendship to me.

The development of social skills, including the friendship skills of getting along, can not be left to chance. The skills must be actively encouraged and taught. Children must learn what behaviour is friendly, what is not friendly and what is bullying.

The teaching of these skills and behaviours should not be left to one or two days of the year but integrated into the teaching program. In fact, the best way to encourage friendship and discourage bullying is through the implementation of policies that foster respect and accept

Continue reading and see new teaching resources from readilearn: Learning to be friends to combat bullying – Readilearn

13 thoughts on “Learning to be friends to combat bullying – Readilearn

  1. teengirlblog897034319

    Hi i’m Teen girl,
    I thought this was a really cool post. I was just wondering if i could ask you something. My cousin is currently being bullied on and off. It can be really bad and sometimes not that bad. She’s not very old and isn’t really handling it well. I was wondering if you could give me some tips or tricks on how to help her with this. She has had her parents in for meetings with her teacher, but her teacher hasn’t done anything about it. I hope you can help!
    Teen Girl

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Hi Teen girl, It’s wonderful of you to be concerned about your cousin and to ask for help on her behalf. It is obvious that her parents know about the bullying, so that’s a great start. It’s also wonderful for her to know that they support her and have been to see her teacher. What is not so good is that the teacher did nothing. That is not an appropriate response. I suggest that the parents make an appointment and speak with the principal or school counsellor, or both. Your cousin may be able to make an appointment with the school counsellor herself. If you are at the same school, perhaps you could go with her and tell what you have seen. She would appreciate your support. It will be of benefit to her to know that you are there for her. Keep a note of instances, including time, place and who was involved. That will help in getting the situation resolved. Try to ensure your cousin is not left alone in situations in which she might be bullied. Bullying often occurs to someone when on their own. If you are around, intervene and tell the perpetrators that’s it is not okay. Call for adult intervention straight away.
      I hope that gives you some ideas that you can implement. Most of all be a listening ear and a caring friend to your cousin. Reassure her that she’s okay to be who she is.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Peppi. Kindness is an essential, that’s for sure.
      I’m pleased you appreciated the dates section – seemed to be so many at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. roughwighting

    These are excellent resources, Norah. I love reading picture books to my grandkids, also, that have a subtle message about the harm of bullying. And I believe that Bert is bullied in my book Birds of Paradise, and Bessie teaches him to ignore the bullies and to believe in himself.
    I think teachers need to look out for bullies even among themselves. I’m not sure if this is addressed in educational seminars on bullying. I myself was bullied in high school by a teacher, who made me feel small and silly and stupid. In the end, I believe he realized what he’d done, and we ended up becoming working friends (he as teacher and mentor, me as high school newspaper journalist and editor). Bullying is harmful in all forms and from all sides. Thanks for this EXCELLENT post.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your lovely message of encouragement, Pam. Sharing books with grandchildren is an extra special treat and one that I also enjoy.
      Your beautiful picture book “Birds of Paradise” has a lovely message of diversity, friendship and believing in yourself, whoever you are.
      I find it quite sad when children are bullied by teachers. Sometimes teachers don’t realise they are bullying. They feel the need to get kids to do what they’re told, to conform. But it’s not easy for all kids to conform, nor should we want them to either. Yes, it makes life easier when everyone follows the rules and definitely everyone needs to be treated with respect. It can be difficult at times to work out what to allow and what not. Understanding individual needs goes a long way towards helping make those decisions.
      I’m so pleased your teacher moved on from bullying to mentoring. What a great teacher you must have been, even then. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. roughwighting

        Ohhh, your last line just brought tears to my eyes. I never thought of myself as a teacher back then, my high school self. But I did know how wrong it was of this brilliant teacher (and he was brilliant, but he only focused on those he thought were worthy of his brilliance!!). to pre-judge a person/student before getting to know them. Which brings up another teaching topic. Should teachers be ‘forewarned’ of a student before they get him/her, about challenging behaviors? Some say yes, it helps the teacher be read and able to help the needy student. OR, does it make a teacher pre-judge that student before he/she has had a chance to begin in a new classroom with a fresh start? Interesting questions…. xo

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          You were obviously able to change that teacher’s views in a positive way – that makes you a brilliant teacher. (Teachers are not only the ones who carry the title. Sometimes they are the poorest of teachers.)
          Your question about passing information to the teacher is interesting. Many studies of the Pygmalion effect have been done. It seems the students do as well as the teachers expect them to. I think its good to have some of the backstory. It’s often necessary to be able to understand and cater for needs without having to waste half the year getting to know a student. But hear the information and treat each child as brilliant and successful anyway and don’t be afraid to see needs where none were previously noted.

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