The scourge of bullying has been plaguing our kids for a very long time. Parents should step in and teach their kids how to manage bullying situations, like this mom did.
Many of our children have fallen prey to bullying - whether they are on the giving or receiving end.
Recently, a Cape Town high school girl was in the spotlight following the sharing of a video clip where she threatened another school girl.
October is bullying awareness month and sometimes our children don't realise the consequences of their actions until they are pointed out to them.
Bullying is so uncool:
As a parent, one of the many concerns you may face when your children start school, is if they will ever encounter a bully. Even worse, what if they become a bully.
When you teach your child to be a decent human being and to remember that everyone has some kind of struggle they're facing, your child is able to face difficult situations by thinking in a more proactive than reactive way.
Kristina Kuzmic and her son have shared an awesome clip on 4 Ways to Deal with a Bully.
The impact of technology:
Since technology has progressed at such a rapid speed, cyber bullying has increased in popularity. Kids need to know that even though they haven't said something to a person's face, it doesn't mean it's not that hurtful. They also need to know how dangerous it is to post anything on the Internet.
Freelance writer, Allison Tate, said it really well: "Your words are powerful, so choose them carefully. Your words will last, so make good choices when you choose to put them on the Internet."
Parents should continuously encourage their children to be part of the solution and not the problem.
Education departments want to help:
The South African Department of Basic Education has uploaded a downloadable document for parents and teachers on to their website, which gives tips on which steps to take in a situation. The document also provides a list of possible warning signs to help you identify if your child is being bullied.
The Gauteng Department of Education also released a document to help teach learners, parents and educators about bullying.
Often bullies are victims themselves and are also in need of help.
Western Cape MEC for Education, Debbie Schäfer, said: "Unfortunately, many cases of bullying go unreported and the WCED is therefore unable to intervene.
"It saddens me, both as a parent and as the MEC for education, that bullying is a real issue in many of our schools. There are different types of bullying, of which the first two are self-explanatory, being physical abuse and verbal or written abuse.
"The third type of bulling is social abuse, such as when learners gossip about each other, exclude each other from a group or reveal personal information about a learner with the goal of humiliating them.
"Bullying tactics have also developed with modern technology and we now also have cyber-bullying. More recently, the Internet and the increased use of mobile devices has provided an arena for this type of bullying, which includes name-calling and using social media platforms to send threatening messages, emails and viruses, hacking and posting one's picture or video on the Internet without permission.
"Any form of bullying can have dire consequences and as schools, parents and educators, we have to respond accordingly and in a timeous manner."
A message from Freshly Ground's Zolani:
Freshly Ground singer, Zolani Mahola, partnered with the National Department of Basic Education two months ago to record this message for school kids around the country.
Are your kids victims of bullying? What have you done to remedy the situation? Share your thoughts, experience and methods by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your story.