Explain different types of bullying and the potential effects on children and young people. Bullying and the fear of bullying are major worries for many children and young people.
The victims of bullying are usually different in some way from the bully; the differences may be as simple as a different physical characteristic or being seen as a ‘swot’. Bullying can be specific. The basis for the bullying can be one or more of the following forms:
– Physical (pushing, kicking hitting, pinching and other forms of violence or threats).
– Verbal (name-calling, insults, sarcasm, spreading rumours, persistent teasing).
– Emotional (including not speaking to and excluding someone, tormenting ridicule, humiliation).
– Cyber-bullying (the use of information and communications technology particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else). Bullying can be carried out by one person against another, or by groups of people ‘ganging up’ on a person. Bullying is not always delivered as a personal face -to- face attack, but can also be delivered through technology.
Potential effects of bullying can be;
– Threatened or attempted suicide.
– Running away.
– Low self esteem.
– Poor academic achievement.
There are many reasons and possibilities as to why people bully, most of the time it’s because the victim is different in some way. Below are some of the differences why someone might be bullied: – appearance (e.g. hair colour or style, height).
– Sexual orientation.
– Being jealous.
Both males and females are capable of carrying out a vicious attack such as bullying on others. Some bullies only do it to uphold their reputation and look ‘hard’. Many bullies only bully others out of jealousy and many of the people who have been bullied go on to do great things with their life, like some famous people who have been bullied.
Outline the policies and procedures that should be followed in response to concerns or evidence of bullying and explain the reasons why they are in place.
All schools are required by law to have anti-bulling policies in place but these vary in how they are worded and the subsequent actions that need to be taken. Schools must also have policies to encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part for others on the part of pupils. The Department for Education is clear that no form of bullying should be tolerated. Bullying should be taken very seriously; it is not a normal part of growing up and it can ruin lives. The current anti-bulling guidance for schools, Safe to learn: embedding anti-bulling work in schools, was launched in September 2007.
Explain how to support a child or young person and/or their family when bullying is suspected or alleged.
When dealing with someone who is being bullied it is important to remember that they will be very upset although they may not show it on the outside. If they have managed to get up the courage to talk to you then they need to know you will take the problem seriously. In the case of an older child, it is a good idea to ask them to write down exactly what happened and who was there so that you can speak to other people. The more information you have, the better you will be able to deal with the problem and the faster you can sort out exactly what happened. Reassure the victim that you will be back in touch with them as soon as you have completed your investigation and that if there are any more problems in the meantime they must let you know immediately.
Supporting the family
Parents can find it very hard to know how to help their child if they are being bullied. Some parents will have to cope with the news that it is their child who is a bully. You need to know how to support parents in both these cases. Listen to parents; let them explain how they are feeling. Direct them to useful information so that they can start to think how to support their child.
Explain how to support children and young people’s self-confidence and self-esteem.
Children and young people who are:
– Have high self-esteem.
Are less likely to be vulnerable to abuse. A child who has high self-esteem will do better in many aspects of development. Self esteem can be supported by:
– Giving lots of praise and encouragement.
– Encouraging independence and choice, with many opportunities to try things out.
– Teaching children how to be assertive (this means having their own needs met but still respecting those of others).
– Encouraging cooperation, respect and tolerance between children, and giving a positive example yourself.
Analyse the importance of supporting resilience in children and young people
Resilience is the ability to deal with the ups and down of life and is based on self-esteem. The more resilient a child is the more they will be able to deal with life as they grow and develop into adulthood. Many factors can positively affect a child’s resilience:
– Secure early attachment.
– Confidence of being loved by family and friends.
– Good sense of self-identity.
– Ability to act independently.
– Confidence to try new things.
Explain why it is important to work with the child or young person to ensure they have strategies to protect themselves and make decisions about safety.
The important thing for all children to remember is that they should never feel uncomfortable about someone they are with or something being done to them. Children and young people need support to be able to keep them safe. It is important to be available to talk with children about any concerns they may have. If they are upset by a reported case of abuse, then you should be as reassuring as possible. You should stress that almost all children lead safe and happy lives and only very few adults want to hurt children in any way. Using correct anatomical language, at a level appropriate to the child, is important when you are talking about bodies. Simple, age-appropriate sessions, linked to other activities, on how the human body works help children to understand what their bodies can do and raise awareness of what is normal and what is not. Sessions on ‘body maintenance’ should be an integral part of children’s education, not just to warn them of the danger of misuse. The Keep safe Code produced by Kidscape is an effective way of getting across the message about personal safety to young children. Older children need more detailed information such as:
– Lessons on normal sexual function, related to adult behaviour (relevant to your setting’s policy.
– Information about misuse of their bodies, through smoking, alcohol and illegal drugs.
– The risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (Chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhoea, etc.).
Help from other organisations
Organisations such as Kidscape, Childeline and the NSPCC can help with information and guidance on these topics. It is important to use them properly and be sure that information is accurate and used to their best effect.
Explain ways of empowering children and young people to make positive and informed choices that support their well being and safety.
Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe. Children will always push boundaries and take risks – that is how we all learn. Your role is to manage those risks without taking away their independence. When they are empowered, and can make their own choices, they are able to do things alone and without supervision.