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The difference between teasing & bullying

2 February
Posted by:
Michael Grose
Start of the school year is a time when children are establishing, re-establishing and sorting out their friendship groups.

Sometimes this can lead to some conflict, some teasing and some rejection. Kids can feeling hurt and disappointed can vent their feelings at home. And rightfully so, as home should be a place to share your hurts & disappoints.

These social mishaps and disappointments shouldn’t be confused with bullying. Often children will tease, argue and sometimes fight, which shouldn’t be confused with bullying.

Bullying is an insidious behaviour that transgresses children’s right to feel safe and secure. It can adversely affect children's learning, emotional well-being, further peer relations and their emotional well-being.

It is about lack of power as one person is powerless to stop teasing, intimidation or physical abuse. Bullying is the selective, uninvited, repetitive oppression of one person by another person or group. It should not be tolerated by adults.

Signs of bullying include: school refusal, items stolen or clothes torn, changing the route to school or withdrawal from usual activities.

If you suspect your child is being bullied:

1. Listen to their story & get the facts

2. Recognise & validate their feelings (anger, fear & sadness are common)

3. Give them some common coping skills & defense mechanisms

4. Get the school involved

5. Help build your child’s support networks & their self-confidence

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