It is an unfortunate, but very prevalent, fact that bullying has taken center stage as one of the most overwhelming problems that plagues schools, playgrounds, and individual children everywhere. Statistics on bullying vary depending on the source, but surveys consistently show numbers between 20 and 40% of elementary school children report having been bullied at some point.
There is no way to pinpoint the exact cause of bullying, nor can we blame one source (parents, television, video games, internet, etc.). It is an obvious fact that everyone wants bullying to stop. But the question remains... how? "The underlying cause of the act of bullying reflects the inner conflict that children have about themselves but are unable to express easily. Instead, they find a less powerful person to bully and try to dominate to enable them to release some of their pent up frustration but maintain their stoic image," stated Marriage and Family Therapist Holly Zwerling, LMFT, LCSW, and founder of the Fatherhood Task Force of South Florida.
At Alphabet Kids, we feel that the more children know and understand about others, the less likely they are to bully. That's why it is so important to expose your children to people, lifestyles, cultures, and new experiences that are different from their own.
The Alphabet Kids Series allows children to have a glimpse into diverse worlds and see, that despite certain differences, they have similar feelings. Children from all cultures and walks of life have the same likes, dislikes and fears; teaching them to accept that fact and setting an example of tolerance, can help children to be more understanding when faced with adversity. Through books, children can learn about new ideas and through discussion, learn to express their feelings.
"The role of both the parent and educator is to instill confidence in children and to carefully look at their own behavior in regard to attitudes toward others and their style of communication," added Dr. Kenneth Silvestri, a FamilyTherapist, former teacher and school administrator with a doctorate in Anthropology and Psychology.
If you, your child's school, PTA, community center, or faith-based organization would like further insight into the issues of Bullying, Alphabet Kids would love to help. Contact us to have one of our experts answer your questions or come to your community with our hands-on multicultural experiences and curriculum. Our goal is to spread tolerance and understanding from the beginning!