YOUR CHILD, SELF-ESTEEM AND ANTI- BULLYING

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1 YOUR CHILD, SELF-ESTEEM AND ANTI- BULLYING W H A T P A R E N T S C A N D O A N N L O C A R N I N I P S Y C H O L O G I S T M A P S

2 THE STORY OF JOHN, 10 John had been attending a primary school near his home for 4 years when his mother noticed that he seemed a little more withdrawn, down hearted, and reluctant to go to school. After questioning him about his feelings, she heard that he had been bullied since the first weeks of term that year. Some new boys would wait for him at the school gate as he arrived and when he left to walk home. They would surround him and follow him, chanting that he was a loser, sometimes they pushed and shoved him until he cried. At lunchtime they would make comments about him being a wuss or a nerd and demand that he give them his lunch, which he did to avoid a scene. His mother knew the mother of one of the boy s involved, and angrily said she was going to ring her up. John begged her to not do that as he was afraid the boys would be worse if they heard he had told on them. His mother was so upset she rang the mother straight away.

3 BULLYING IN SCHOOLS Bullying is widespread around the world Serious implications for the victim and the bully Academic, psychological, and social problems

4 BULLYING Is linked to aggression anger violence hyperactivity delinquency criminality

5 VICTIMISATION Is linked to illnesses school avoidance poor academic performance fear anxiety Depression suicide

6 THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL CLIMATE Greater risk of bullying as children get older Less structure and supervision associated with greater bullying Playgrounds, lunchrooms, and corridors are often the sites for bullying to take place Students often report feeling unsafe is such places Higher incidence in schools where teachers are ineffective in maintaining order Schools with a high emphasis on learning exhibit decreased aggression even when located in negative neighbourhoods

7 SELF-ESTEEM SELF WORTH How an individual perceives him or herself Includes own thoughts and feelings about self and ability to achieve in areas that are important Shaped by child s own perceptions, and the perceptions and expectations of those around her

8 SELF-EFFICACY Belief in ability to attempt and undertake tasks or activities Very context dependent Based on realistic appraisal of ability Not affected by failure, failure often stimulates renewed effort High self-efficacy linked to improved mood High self-efficacy leads to increased learning and mastery

9 ATTACHMENT A basic drive to form a bond with another Attachment can be secure or insecure Secure attachment occurs when a child has a responsive care giver Teachers, family friends, and relatives shape attachment patterns

10 VIDEO CLIP SHOWING ATTACHMENT DEVELOPING IN A BABY

11 ATTACHMENT: OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN Knows how to love Be a good friend, often popular with peers and adults A good learner Open to experiences -curious Not afraid of failure Feels worthwhile

12 JANE, 11 Jane is a sensitive girl who often was not sure if her friends really liked her or just let her hang around with them. Sometimes she thought that they were talking about her behind her back. A new girl became friends with the coolest girl in the group and Jane felt that all the girls were now only interested in the two coolest girls. If she made a joke or said something, often nothing was said or the cool girls would change the topic. The girls would arrange to see a movie on the weekend but after a while it would happen that the plans would change and the girls would text each other to make a new time or meeting place, without letting Jane know about the changes. Three times she had her mother drop her at the prearranged meeting place to find that no one was there. Jane was devastated, she asked her mother to let her change schools. Her mother helped her to move to another school the next term.

13 HOW PARENTS CAN HELP - SCAFFOLDING

14 OVERPROTECTION LEADS TO ANXIETY AND LOW SELF-EFFICACY An extremely overprotective parent wants everything to be right for their child They have a tendency to instil fear in the child The child forms the view that the world is dangerous The child often experiences the parent as inconsistent in real care and attention, Often employ overly harsh punishment for small events

15 NEGLECT LEADS TO DESPAIR AND ANGER Low care and concern for the child Neglected children end up in dangerous situations Neglected children feel that they are not worthy and believe that others are not worthy as well They feel rejected by the lack of care and develop a persona of indifference which can lead to problematic relationships with others, such as conduct disorder, bullying or victimisation Such children can become very self reliant believing they do not need others Hard for these children to be able to love later on, leading to promiscuity, substance addiction and a critical outlook towards others

16 SECURITY The secure child is able to explore safely The secure child has been comforted and soothed when distressed, learning that it is possible to be upset and to recover The secure child feels optimistic about relations with others, believing that they are worthy and others are worthy too The secure child has had parents who have responded with respect and care. The secure child feels enthusiastic about life and has a belief that it is possible to manage most situations

17 HOW PARENTS CAN HELP - EMPATHIC LISTENING Builds trust and respect Expression of emotions Reduces tension Elicit information Leads to problem solving

18 NOTES ABOUT EMPATHIC LISTENING No judgement Reflect back what is being said No advice No quick fix Don t talk about your similar situation (could be later) Notice how your child will start to talk more, change in body language evident

19 HOW PARENTS CAN HELP - PROBLEM SOLVING Define the problem Define the cause Brainstorm solutions Vote on best solutions by process of elimination Try out Refine Try again

20 RESILIENCE Being able to function well when stressed, to recover from traumatic experiences, or to overcome disadvantages to succeed in life An ability to manage distress and adverse circumstances in a positive and flexible way resulting in an individual who is better prepared for future adversity

21 Resilient families manage difficulties Problem solving Empathic listening Optimism Stress management (including planning pleasant events or breaks) Support is given and help seeking is modelled Skills are encouraged Positive parental involvement

22 FINAL THOUGHTS Bullying is widespread Help your child cope by listening well, Provide meaningful experiences of mastery and pleasant events Model help seeking behaviour e.g. speak to school Problem solve Manage your own distress in front of your child

23 THANK YOU

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