ISPCC Anti-Bullying corner

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC ) has now firmly established March as its anti-bullying awareness month, of which our blue Shield is the symbol. Throughout March a series of articles will be run in the Mayo Advertiser looking at the topic.

Prevention and building resilience

Bullying is often one of the many challenges children face when growing up, but with a sufficient level of resilience children can and do manage to overcome such adversity. The ISPCC provides free, non-judgemental, and child centred one-to-one support services for parents of children aged 0-18 years. Provided by professional childhood support workers, the service offers emotional and practical support to parents who wish to improve their parenting skills.

The overall objective is to develop the level of resilience and coping skills in both the parent and the young child, so they will have the necessary tools to deal with whatever challenges they may face during childhood.

I have, I am, I can

During the first three years of life, the needs of a child can be overwhelming and challenging for any parent. Also if parents can develop a positive level of resilience within themselves, they in turn can then support their child to build their level of resilience. To overcome adversities and challenges, children can draw from three sources of resilience: I have (social needs ), I am (emotional needs ), or I can (behavioural needs ).

I have

People around me I trust and who love me no matter what. People who show me how to do things for myself.

I am

A person of worth, a person people can like and love. Respectful of myself and others.

I can

Control myself when I feel like doing something wrong/dangerous. Find someone to help me when I need it.

Resilience results from a combination of these three features. Strength in one alone will not be sufficient to overcome adversity. Parents can build these sources with their child by the following: Provide unconditional positive regard; express love both physically and verbally, eg, by holding, rocking, and using soothing words to comfort when distressed. Praise positive behaviour and acknowledge achievements (especially in children aged from two to three years and upwards ). Model behaviour and role play scenarios to help toddlers to do things for themselves and develop their early problem-solving skills. Use encouraging language to support independence, eg, “I know you can do it”. Prepare children (especially from age two to three years and upwards ) for unpleasant or adverse situations by using storybooks, games, etc. Provide a safe environment for children to explore and try new experiences. Offer explanations when introducing rules. Always give comfort and encouragement in stressful situations.

ISPCC Mayo is based in the N5 Business Park on the Moneen Road, Castlebar. It is contactable on (094 ) 90 25254. For more information see www.ispcc.ie

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