One of the biggest and lasting sufferings among young children is their perception of being bullied. Often such experiences pop up at a later stage as a trauma. This indicates a severe underlying failure within the current educational systems. While focused on teaching our youngest generations about rational issues and abilities what misses is the following up on emotions, competition, diversity, empathy, care for eachother, love, awareness, selflove, understanding, etc.
In pedagogy and anthropology it is very well known that we all go through growing up phases. The phases that we spend largely at school are the ones in which we go through discovering our strengths, our weaknesses, our adaptiveness, our abilities and lesser abilities, often in comparison to the others. We tend to compete involuntarily to see who is smartest, fastest, blondest, tallest, and whatever judgement we wish to analyse. If not conducted well at school (and at home) this can lead easily to bullying because of differences that are socially disputed at such young ages. Someone with glasses, a girl in skirt, someone with red hear, whatever….nearly everyone has had to endure it.
There are however many ways to guide our youngsters through these competitive and judgemental phases. Instruments like open talks about feelings, competive team sports, art, rituals, etc. But these are hardly found in the schools so children learn the hard way on the streets sometimes with disastrous effects. Some schools in our network announced their anti-bullying programme in reaction to our theme of the month (Peace and Multilateralism). Also our America sing and song writer, Melody, dedicated a song to the issue.
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