14 March 2023
At the age of 7 [generally Gr1], children are starting to develop a better understanding of social relationships and are becoming more aware of social norms and expectations. They are also starting to form their own opinions and attitudes towards different behaviours, including bullying.
Children at this age may perceive bullying as being mean or aggressive towards someone else, either physically or verbally. They may also understand that bullying can involve exclusion or spreading rumours about someone.
However, they may not yet have a clear understanding of the power dynamics involved in bullying or the long-term impact it can have on the victim.
It’s important to note that children’s understanding of bullying can vary depending on their individual experiences and the cultural and social context they are growing up in.
Therefore, it’s important to have ongoing conversations with children about what bullying is, what it looks like, and how to respond if they or someone else is being bullied.
Parents can help children develop a better understanding of bullying by:
- Encouraging empathy: Help children put themselves in someone else’s shoes and imagine how it would feel to be treated poorly.
- Teaching assertiveness: Help children learn how to assert themselves in situations where they are being bullied or witnessing someone else being bullied.
There is a difference between assertive and being aggressive. We do not encourage children to retaliate, take the law into their own hands. Two wrongs don’t make a right, as the saying goes.
- Encouraging open communication: Let children know that they can come to you or a trusted adult if they ever experience bullying or see someone else being bullied.
- Modelling respectful behaviour: Parents can model respectful and inclusive behaviour in their own interactions with others, which can help children learn how to treat others with kindness and respect.