Violence in schools is a problem in every country. It happens among children themselves. Some teachers and parents also resort to using violent methods – more often verbal, but sometimes physical – to discipline children and to teach them right from wrong. Breaking the cycle of violence calls on all - school staff, teachers, students, parents, and members of the community – to make a change. What is important is that we do not wait for it to happen and then respond. Here are some things that parents can do to be part of the movement to create schools without violence.
Set an example of positive behaviour and use positive ways of setting boundaries and managing disruptive behaviour; this has to start from early childhood. You are one of the biggest influences in your child’s life. They learn from what you say and do. If you insult, they will think it is OK to insult. If you hit, they will accept this as normal. When you use these methods you are not only saying it is OK to use violence, you are actually making your child feel rejected, persecuted, unworthy or lack confidence. Find out more about how to set boundaries and use positive behaviour while at the same time building your child’s self-confidence.
Look out for the early warning signs of behaviour issues and help children to deal with negative emotions. Evidence and research have identified several causes of violent behaviour that can be used to raise the red flag so that violence can be prevented. However, these early warning signs are not black and white [clear-cut], they must be considered in context so that they are not misinterpreted. Some of these signs may be related to normal child and adolescent development, and may not necessarily mean that the children will start to express their emotions in negative ways. Given that the effects of violence are often the same as the causes of violence, when you stay alert you not only prevent your child from the risk of being violent, you also protect them from being a victim. Find out more about early warning signs and how you can help your child deal with negative emotions.
Children with behaviour problems need “help” not “punishment”. Prevention methods are effective ways to reduce violence against and among children and create positive behaviour for learning. However, prevention alone cannot fully wipe out violence behaviour among all children. Some children need more intensive support to decrease their high-risk behaviours. The key to remember is that “punishment is not the answer”. Children need “help” to deal with their issues and help to correct their wrongs. Parents may also need support from professionals. Find out more about how you can help your child.
Schools need to have a violent prevention and response plan in place and parents need to work with schools to make the plan a reality. Schools can take positive steps to reduce violence and the likelihood of violence, however to be successful, parents must be involved. Find out more about how you can help.
Help us turn this website into a site that shows the world how we are coming together to create a country where all schools are free of violence.
The message in this advertisement from NAPSAN is universal. It really sends the message home about the influence parents have over their child's behaviour.
Being a parent is not an easy job, particularly when we have to balance demands from home, work and the community. Sometimes stress can get the better of us. But, if we as parents use insults and aggression to resolve our problems, children can accept that this is normal behaviour.
Children learn from what parents say and do. Be an example of positive behaviour and solve your problems with understanding.