Times have changed and it seems, time with our children has suffered the most.  I was sitting with a group of primary school teachers where this echoed loudly. We were discussing the challenges facing teachers in general and I asked the question, “What is your biggest concern with bullies?”

A very general question, and I must highlight that these teachers teach in private schools, with 12 to 20 pupils per class, as well as government schools, with 40 to 50 pupils per class. 

They all agreed that it starts at home.  These children may be acting out because they lack attention and act out to get just that..  It may be that one of the parents is a dominant or forceful type of individual, it could be learned behaviour, it may be that these children are allowed to watch a variety of visual content from television to having access to anything on the internet and then decide to experiment with some of these acts they see.  It could also be a desperate call to garner some form of attention, even if it is the wrong type, but “At least I am acknowledged.”

A second concern was that there are also many students who scream “bullying”, but it was merely a misunderstanding and not a prolonged attack on them.

It could also be a desperate call to garner some form of attention, even if it is the wrong type, but “At least I am acknowledged.

So, first let us look at the definition of “Bullying”:

“Bullying is an ongoing and deliberate misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that intends to cause physical, social and/or psychological harm.  It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power, or perceived power, over one or more persons who feel unable to stop it from happening.” (https://www.ncab.org.au/bullying-advice/bullying-for-parents/definition-of-bullying/)

“Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.”

Both definitions talk of “repeated”- meaning it is not a once off action.

I would like to ask parents, to those reading this who do not pay constant and close attention to their children’s behaviour.  If you know your child is being bullied, or if you think your child may be bullied – Consider your behaviour, the behaviour of those around you and ask yourself,

“What can we do to change this narrative?”

  • We must raise happy, resilient little souls. 
  • Our children need to be aware of the barriers and parameters which govern society in general, they need to learn great behaviour at home. 
  • You, parent or caregiver, are the prime example they are modelling their behaviour on, unless you are allowing so much social media in, they are governed by it?  BE A GREAT EXAMPLE!
  • You also need to teach your children to speak up.  It is not okay to be mistreated and it must be taken further, if this is a regular occurrence.

Stayers – we stand for GOOD THOUGHTS, GOOD WORDS and GOOD DEEDS!  What a great legacy we can leave, if our children and those around us are infected with this.  Let us raise kind, empathetic children, by being their prime example. 

Are teachers, who probably spend more time with our children than we do, looking at our youngsters and feeling excited to be a part of their journey, because they are such a pleasure to have in their classroom?  

Teachers may you be blessed with the strength you need to help all these little souls, in whatever they may be needing, find love and warmth in your four walls, as you impart more than book knowledge.

Let us fight bullying with loads of love!

This is dedicated to all those passionate teachers out there, to the learners who are doing their utmost to be their best and the parents who are leading the brigade in raising good, active little citizens!

Please submit your story to us HERE
For more positive and uplifting stories visit us at #ImStaying



Opinion By: Michelle Pagel