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“No one heals himself by wounding another.” – Saint Ambrose

02 Jan 2023 Rev. Paul Muoki

Bullying impedes the academic and spiritual development of children.

Bullies target children in schools, churches, and even their neighborhoods. Children who are bullied may experience fear, be made to feel unimportant, have their playtime disrupted, suffer physical harm, or develop longterm mental health problems. Some children, to avoid a bully, may decide not to attend school, church, or play with other children. They are afraid of being physically hurt or of having to give up some of their most prized possessions. Our children need safety and a sense of wellbeing to grow spiritually and get the best from school and church. Parents and caretakers must act quickly whenever they suspect there is a problem.

Strangely, some parents choose not to intervene when their children are bullied. They mistakenly believe that the child should learn how to handle these situations on their own, or they are afraid that if they intervene, the child will be embarrassed. Parents must be involved because they do not want their child's well-being to suffer. Children should be able to attend church and school in a safe loving environment. Interventions in bullying situations can vary depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation. Some of the interventions are highlighted here but remember that the information provided is not intended to replace medical treatment when required or advice from your family counsellors, educators, or physicians.

  • A bully takes pleasure in frightening others and frequently attempts to make his or her victim cry or become visibly upset in other ways. Tell your child not to react to the bully or give in to his or her demands. Your child should remain calm and simply walk away. Then, your child should notify a trusted adult of the situation as soon as possible.
  • If your child is unable to ignore a bully's taunts, the he/she should confront the bully and make a clear and loud “no to being bullied” statement. If your child is not used to speaking firmly, help him or her practice what to say if bullied. A strong statement can sometimes improve the situation and cause the bully to leave your child alone.
  • Speaking with a counsellor is beneficial to your child. The counsellor determines whether your child has mental health issues as a result of bullying. This helps determine whether your child should be referred to a preferred health provider for additional assessment and treatment.
  • If the bullying situation does not change, talk to your child's teacher, the school counsellor, the head teacher, or the church leaders. Encourage your child to find trustworthy friends because a child who has caring friends is less likely to experience bullying.
  • Bullying harms both the victim and the bully, and both require assistance. challenge church and school leadership when they notice inappropriate behaviors on the church or school grounds to assist in confronting such behaviors. This is more effective than having the parents of the victimized child confront the child who is bullying your child.

SUK has a comprehensive Child Protection and Safety (CP&S) Policy. All the staff members and volunteers who interact with children are required to sign the policy adherence. If you church or school would like training in CP&S, please reach us on the numbers provided below.

Call us on: 0720664513/0735576326

Write to us: info@sukenya.org


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