Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunday's best

03 February 2013

A late post.

Ron, Marco and I woke up early to catch the Educative Pastoral Community Mass today as part of the 59th Foundation Day at Don Bosco Technical Institute-Makati City.  The EPC launched “The Year of the Alumni and Parents” and welcomed the new communicants who are the second graders wherein Marco is one of them.  We are celebrating with the theme “Alumni and Parents Moving forward from Gold to Diamond: Nurturing Future Servant-Leaders”.  This year’s celebration focused on several objectives and one of this is “To guide the Bosconians in responding to God’s call to service in the church and in society.  Being parents, we have a big part in attaining this objective.

The highlight of today’s celebration is the “Anti-bullying” Seminar for parents.  The school invited Atty. Jocelyn Cruz, an Education Lawyer and Asst. Dean of Law Department of De La Salle University to conduct the seminar.  As part of school’s “Zero Bullying” goal, parents are invited to have awareness to such issue.

I just want to share what I have learned today. As Mom of two young boys,  I am much concerned with child protection especially nowadays that violence committed by young people is getting more alarming.  I don’t want my kids to be one or a victim.
I found Atty. Cruz a very jolly speaker that you will have full attention and boredom has no room during her talk.  In two hours duration, I went home full of knowledge about Bullying (in all aspect).
  In the beginning, she gave acronym for BULLY.

Yearning Attention

If a child is observed with that attitude, it’s a warning.  You must be aware.
During my childhood, I also experienced bullying in school.  But I’m not a victim.  I am a happy person and I don’t mind them.  Maybe I am not their target because of my personality.  Adult people call them “Ma-ukit” or “Pilyo/Pilya”.  A simple gossiping, teasing, hitting, saying mean words, name calling, pushing, kicking and even damaging property are the ways of bullying.

Today, bullying is taken seriously because it has link to psychological and behavioral problems, violence and suicide.
Atty. Cruz explained that Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person physically or mentally and a certain way to gain power over another person.  She cited also the reasons why children are bully to each other as follows:
  1. Children today are more aggressive.  Kids are aggressive because of violent internet games, movies and TV shows.  They acquire the attitude of what they have seen on gadgets.  Due to less guidance, their impression to life is like an internet game, no feelings. 
  2. Marriages today are weak.    
  3. Children today are angry.  They are frustrated and unhappy.
  4. Children today are being bullied by parents.  It’s true that in our own home, bullying starts.  Due to economical changes, people can easily be stressed out with several things.  Parents are busy and tired for everyday life and sometimes kids are the most affected in such situation.  We can’t deny to ourselves that most of the time we can’t control ourselves to shout especially when children are messy, irresponsible, lazy and deaf (intentional).  We forgot to extend our patience because “kids are kids” need to be guided more and more until they will have their own wings.
It happens everywhere.  In school or in the school bus, at the park or playground, at home and in cyberspace.  
She said that there are several kinds of bullying.  These are physical, verbal, social and electronic or cyber bullying.  
Physical Bullying
-          When someone hits, shoves, kicks, spits, or beats up another person or when someone damages or steals another student’s property.
Verbal Bullying
-          Name calling, mocking, hurtful teasing, humiliating or threatening someone and making people do things they don’t want to do.
Social Bullying
-          Excluding others from the group, spreading rumors or gossips, making other look foolish, mobbing, scapegoating, rolling of eyes and excluding from the group.
Electronic or Cyber Bullying
-          Threaten or hurt someone’s feelings, spread rumors or make fun of someone using computer, email, phone or text messages.
-          Online social cruelty and intentionally excluding someone from an online group.

I recall the news last year about the two models(best friends), one found dead and the other found behind bars.  It was reported that the victims was raped and then shot by the boyfriend of her best friend. And the best friend said that they just want to "bigyan ng leksyon" because the victim was gossiping that the suspect has kids already.  Posting some "patama" on facebook.  It was so shocking.  The former "BFF" became frenemy because of "BULLYING". How tragic it is!

And there are lots of incidents in the Philippines that link bullying into fatal occurence.

The Speaker clearly states some of the possible signs that a child is being bullied are when he/she comes home with torn, damaged or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings.  One who has unexplained cuts, bruises and scratches, few friends, sudden loss of appetite or appears anxious are other signs of bullying.  A child begins to do poor in school, sad, moody, teary or depressed, complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches or physical ailments and has trouble in sleeping or has frequent bad dreams are also traces bullying.

And of course we don't want our kids to experience those signs.  That’s why we must be aware.  We must control things as much as we want to prevent all related problems.  According to the speaker, there are lots of factors in bullying behavior. 

Like, lack of nurturing and emotional support.  Some of the parent recognizes the wrong doings of their child instead of appreciating even the small good deed they do.  We must appreciate their ability of our kids and make them feel that they are secured and happy inside the house and avoid comparison.  Kids have their own strength and weaknesses so..... treat them the way they need it.   

Poor bonding because of parental disharmony and conflict is another factor.  Parents should enrich their marital relationship to be a good model to their child.  Showing affection to each other inside the house has big impact on children.  They feel secure.  Dating is so important to husband and wife as part of being parent.  There is nothing wrong with bringing back in “ligawan moment” during marriage.  It has huge factor being a responsible parents.  Family Day in a week should be in a routine.  Sunday Mass is one of the best bonding moment.  Once a year family outing can help if agrees with the budget.

Another factor is harsh physical punishment to coerce or control the child.  At this point in time, “kamay na bakal” is not applicable.  Diplomacy is the best solution to discipline kids.  Akala lang natin minsan hindi sila nakikinig pero tumatagos yan sa puso nila lalo na kung nakikipag-usap sa kanila ng hindi sumisigaw.

Atty. Cruz also discussed the kinds of bully person and roles in bullying situation.  She presented the Bullying Circle and the types of victims. (Passive, proactive and vicarious).

She suggested ways to stop bullying.  Like, include anti-bullying lessons in the curriculum, install procedures to deal with bullying in school, train teachers and counselors on how to handle bullies and hold seminars for parents.

The speaker also gave an idea on how to help a child deal with bullies.  Parents should be conscious to kid’s attitude and advise their child never show fear before the bully.  Sabi nga nya.  “Sabi ko sa mga anak ko, kapag may nang bully sa inyo, sabihin nyo na isusumbong ko kayo sa Mommy ko, Lawyer ang Mommy ko!” Hahaha! Children must feel that they have someone to lean on in case of bad situation.   In that case, our child will not be a victim and will never be a bully to others.

One of the fearful parts of being a parent is when they go outside our house.  We don’t control the situation.  That’s why we look for the school wherein we can have our trust not only for good education but for safety of course.  School is their second home and teachers are their second parents, so it’s important that we have full confidence to them. And I’m glad that I chose the school I am looking for.  They are my best partner in bringing up my boys a valuable person.

For me, GOOD PARENTING will stop VIOLENCE.  Provide our kids all the guidance that they need and they will grow up happy and contented.  Put GOD as a center of their life and they will learn to show LOVE to others.

Let us impose zero bullying!       


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