Sunday, October 30, 2016

Buffering Potential Bullying Behavior

Just like having our children wear a winter coat and mittens on a cold day, we can buffer our children from potential bullying situations. This buffering helps to protect all of those involved, but especially those engaged in bullying behavior and those who are targeted.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges us to understand why certain children and young people have potential to engage in bullying situations. Recognizing those potential risk factors will allow us to strengthen protective factors that may prevent children and young people from engaging in aggressive behavior.

The following are some examples of the social, family, and school protective factors for those children most at risk. These are factors that are within our circle of influence.
  1. Strong social-emotional skills and competencies
  2. Healthy relationships with adults outside the family
  3. Parents with high educational expectations
  4. Frequent, shared activities with parents
  5. Strong and positive relationships with people at school
  6. Strong engagement with the school
  7. Involvement with positive, social activities outside school
Again, the importance of the school culture should not be minimized. Over and over, we are reminded that a healthy, safe, and supportive environment provides a culture where bullying cannot flourish. Students who are connected - to adults, to their peers, and to their school - are less likely to engage in aggressive behavior. The most powerful protective factors require no sophisticated training, college degrees, or additional funding. They require only for us to connect with all of our children, especially with those at risk.

“When we know ourselves to be connected to all others, acting compassionately is simply the natural thing to do. ”     ~ Rachel Naomi Remen

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