With thanks to Interrelate for providing the book ‘100+ questions kids have about bullying’ for review. These are my own, honest opinions, I have not been paid for this post.
Raising kids, it’s a gamble really. You do your best to teach them important values. But how do you know if those lessons are sticking? When it comes to the crunch, will they remember the little things you’ve taught them along the way?
It seems my boys have absorbed some of my life lessons. My biggest lad did me proud at playgroup recently. I overheard him saying ‘babies don’t wear shoes, babies don’t walk and talk, he’s not a baby’. I watched on and saw a girl teasing Finn, a younger boy, who is 4. She was repeatedly calling him a baby. Finn was clearly upset and the biggest lad went to his defence. When you’re 4, being called a baby is pretty much the worst insult!
I encouraged all three of my boys to keep sticking up for Finn. ‘Team Finn’ I told them, they cheered back ‘Team Finn’. It was a relief to see they weren’t influenced by the more dominate little girl and stood up for the younger child.
To my surprise I got a message from Finn’s Dad later that night, thanking me, and the biggest lad, for standing up for Finn. Obviously there was no need to say thanks, but I showed the message to the biggest lad, as a way of encouraging the ‘stand up for the underdog’ behaviour in future. It sparked a beautiful conversation about picking on little kids. Mostly, he wanted to know why people are mean to others, especially younger kids.
We had a chat about how maybe the little girl wanted to feel more important than Finn. Perhaps she wanted the biggest lad to play with her instead of Finn. The biggest lad also noticed that she was picking on someone smaller than her. But to he honest, we’ve not encountered any bullying really, so I wasn’t sure of the right response.
100+ questions kids have about bullying
Now, because I’ve been in a fog called ‘the first year with twins’, it wasn’t until much later that I remembered we’d received a book from Interrelate called ‘100+ questions kids have about bullying’ to review. I had another read of it and found the question ‘why do people bully people’? Exactly the information I needed.
The next day I showed that section of the book to the biggest lad. These words made sense to him:
Some people bully to defend themselves if they feel attacked or because they are jealous. People also bully because they think it’s fun or clever or to try to impress other people because they think it makes them look and feel important.
The biggest lad had a theory that the little girl was being mean to Finn so that he would think she was cool. Who knows if he was right, but at least I had an answer to the ‘why people bully’ question! I pointed out a section to him about how some bullies pick on kids who are smaller, maybe because they are easy targets.
What we learnt from 100+ questions kids have about bullying
While he has an innate sense that you should stand up for others, we had a read of the section about stopping bullying. I love the message of the book. If you see someone being bullied, do something! It also says, if you do nothing about bullying you are saying that bullying is ok with you. That’s something that the biggest lad absolutely understood.
There’s plenty of information in the book about cyberbullying. We’re a few years away from online bullying, but that part would be terrific for older kids.
100+ questions kids have about bullying is written mostly as a series of questions and answers. It also uses language that kids can easily understand and relate to. While it isn’t the prettiest book on the bookshelf, the messages are clear. It’s also an easy book to navigate. Kids don’t need to read the book from cover to cover. They can flick through to find the question they need an answer to.
100+ questions kids have about bullying is a great addition to our bookshelf. I can see it being a book that we refer to when playground incidents arise.
You can purchase 100+ questions kids have about bullying from Interrelate. There’s also 100+ questions kids have about having a baby and puberty.
Have you had to deal with bullying in your family?
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT