I’m always slightly sceptical about ‘weeks’. Should we really need a special week to focus our thoughts on such a serious topic? Or should bullying be uppermost in our minds all the time?
The answer for me is definitely the latter.
Yet – a highly publicised campaign can do no harm I guess.
Bullying is a much banded about word and part of our colloquial language. “Don’t be such a bully” is a much used expression. But what really is a bully?According to Wikipedia:
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercionto abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.
But when I say others really we’re talking about the more vulnerable.
New research, published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine this week, suggests that over half of all teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder are bullied at school, compared with an estimated 11 per cent of children in the general population .
So our special children are more likely to fall foul of this disgraceful behaviour.
And so what are we to do?
We need to equip our kids for the tough playground.
Teach them through stories. Role play with puppets and small world toys. Invite lovely friends to play. Go to public parks, soft play, swimming pools. Model language. Teach them to tell a familiar adult if they feel threatened or upset in any way. Use emotion cards to explain different feelings.
But most of all give them a hug