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Tackling culture of bullying in children

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia
11 December 2021   |   2:55 am
With the recent case of bullying that led to the death of 12-year old Sylvester Oromoni, there have been renewed concerns on the effect and culture of bullying among children and in our environment.

With the recent case of bullying that led to the death of 12-year old Sylvester Oromoni, there have been renewed concerns on the effect and culture of bullying among children and in our environment.

According to parent coach, educator and Director at Le Posh School, RonkePosh Adeniyi, bullying is behaviour learned either consciously or unconsciously. When someone says they don’t like something and you continue to do it, it’s an act of bullying. It tends to emanate from the homes, and when children grow up with such behaviour, they don’t know how to love and be kind towards their friends.

“They also don’t understand the magic words of ‘Please’, ‘Pardon me’ and ‘I’m sorry. Then they go to school with these kinds of behaviours, hence the homes and schools are failing with these sorts of behaviour thriving, which breeds the culture of bullying.”

She noted that parents are not doing a lot of things right, adding, “they need to train their children and not leave it to the schools; they need to spend time with their children. They need to understand the love languages of their children, they need to know everything, the traits that their children have at an early age and know when to nip things in the bud.”

It needs to be emphasised that in parenting, the family, which is the bedrock of the nation, is deteriorating at an alarming rate globally.

“It’s not just a Nigerian thing, that is why we see the state of our leaders is bullying each other. So, if you don’t train your child, and they fall into peer pressure, and refuse to communicate with you, that good child can turn bad in secondary school especially if they don’t know how to say No. They can join these fraternities and other bad kids.

Adeniyi noted that a school must never ever be a toxic environment where bullying can thrive, there should be a no-bullying policy. Bullying starts small from things like name-calling, isolating children, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, neglecting and teachers are guilty of some of these practices. Even leaders, bosses, and recently teachers have been complaining about school leaders bullying them all over social media.

“When a child does something wrong, whatever your policy says is what the consequence should be. Schools should also ensure that parents entering their schools are people with high moral values and want to work with them. If a parent says you can’t discipline their child then there’s a problem, these kids go to school mess up and the teachers can’t do anything, this is the situation of many schools especially secondary schools today.

“Teachers should be able to deal with problems or errors that children commit but you find it these days that teachers can’t do that because you find parents demanding teachers apologise for reprimanding their children.”

She added that how parents treat the home staff at home speak to them at home, determines the attitude children pick up an exhibit. What are our family values is respect, part of our family values is we leaders, what are the things that we do whether consciously or not, and children learn it.

“They see how you behave, even when you tell lies or encourage them to lie. By telling them to tell an unwelcome visitor you’re not home, you are actually teaching your children these negative disempowering acts. It is a learned behaviour. If you are kind and you are good, your child can’t just become bad, there’s no cause for them to manifest a negative behaviour.”