March 8, 2016

Anti bullying

Anti Bullying: a story book for children and parents

Goal of this story:

Debu Majumdar’s book in the Viku and the Elephant series, Viku Goes to School, takes on a serious subject, Anti Bullying. It opens a way for parents and children to discuss bullying—often very difficult for children to bring up. Bullies make them feel bad about themselves – convincing them that somehow, they are ‘not good enough.’ No one wants to bring their parents evidence of that?

Bullying is a form of blackmail:

Often blackmail goes along with this attack on a child’s self esteem – ‘I’ll tell everyone about this bad thing you did, or said, or thought.’  People usually ‘pay off’ blackmailers. Children don’t tell any one that he is being bullied. They try to go along as if nothing has happened. When questioned directly, they will often deny that anything is wrong. In Viku Goes to School, Viku does this. But as a parent you see ’something’ is wrong – your child seems depressed; grades might slip, they act out.

What you will learn:

If you read Viku Goes to School with your child, he or she will be able to identify situations that look and sound familiar. Suddenly, he is not ‘the only one’ this happens to. Even if he doesn’t happen to have a pet elephant to help, he may be able to open up and talk about his own problem. There is a very useful list of discussion questions at the end of the book. Without asking your child directly, you can encourage him or her to discuss examples of bullying she has seen at school. Then you may be able to offer some useful advice or discuss intervening.

And finally:

The story is sweet – and helpful. Even if your child has not been bullied, he or she will be aware of the problem and, if it ever comes up, will know what to do and how to handle  the situation.

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