In February our parent volunteers read in your child’s classroom the book Nobody Knew What To Do, by Becky Ray McCain. This book tells the story of how one child found the courage to be an UP-stander and tell a teacher about a fellow student who was being picked on and bullied by children in school.
We are often scared and don’t know what to do when we witness bullying or conflict. As students learn and use bully prevention strategies (and see them used by others) their confidence in their ability to be UP-standers increases. One important UP-stander tool is learning that it is ok to make a report to an adult about a bullying or social conflict. Students should tell an adult when they see or hear anything that deals with preventing or protecting another student. This can be in cases of:
- Protection for themselves or others
- Protection for their own or someone else’s property
- Prevention of something from happening
- Seeking help from a caring adult to problem solve a situation
- Danger from violence or weapons
Sometimes students can be confused with the difference between tattling and reporting. Tattling is done out of a desire to get someone in trouble, spread lies or get attention. Telling and making a report lets adults know what happened in a situation and enables them to address the problem. It is sometimes hard for children to understand this difference, and it is important to remind them that it is always ok to talk to a caring adult and ask for help.
The YMCA/Project Cornerstone would like to remind us of ways to remind children we are caring adults:
- Be the one your child can come to when they need to be heard. Listen and be aware of situations that need further attention.
- Stay calm and gather information by asking questions. In most instances, you can help your child identify and state the problem. “So Jack is picking on you at recess. What are some things you/we might do?” Help your child see their personal power is in how they choose to react.
- Discuss the potential consequences of the chosen strategy. “If you go to the teacher what would happen?” Look at 2 or 3 strategies and consequences and have your child choose one.
- Reassure your child. Thank them for sharing their worries and tell them that you will be “there” when they need help. Check back later to see if the strategy is working.
- If you are not sure what to say or do, reassure your child you will find a way to help and get back to them. Follow through on your promises.
- You and your child are not alone. You may need to seek the wise advice of caring adults at school to help solve the problem. Turning to resources at school is a way to help your child.
- If there is a weapon or violence, take immediate action to prevent and protect. Contact the school or/and call 9-1-1, if necessary.
During March volunteers will read “The empty pot”.
Thank you for supporting Project Cornerstone.