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Making the Grade Elementary: Bullying

Bullying Elementary Years

The most recognized form of bullying in elementary school is physical violence—such as hitting, punching, pushing or taking another student’s belongings. However, as prevalent as physical violence is, verbal bullying is more common and can be even more damaging as its physical counterpart. Verbal bullying comes in many forms, including taunting, threatening or making fun of a student’s gender, religion, appearance, socioeconomic status or mannerisms. This type of bullying tends to spread quickly among students, who “follow” without thinking of the harm or consequences of what they’re doing. Verbal bullying can also lead to social alienation, which happens when a student is excluded from the group or rest of the class and made to feel inferior or different from everyone else. The bully’s unspoken message is that for others to avoid becoming his/her next target, the bystander should ignore their conscience and join in the isolate-the-victim game. According to recent studies, elementary school bullying is most commonly perpetrated by boys, who look for opportunities to take part in physical bullying when teachers and adults aren’t present or paying close enough attention, such as on the playground, in bathrooms, or in crowded hallways. They’re also most likely to pick on younger children. Bullying that occurs among girls deals mostly with social exclusion. Girls gang up against a victim as way of exerting control. Verbal bullying can also lead to social alienation, which happens when a student is excluded from the group or rest of the class and made to feel inferior or different from everyone else.

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Planting the seed

FAMILY TIP: PLANTING THE SEED
Grow a special family relationship by gardening with your children. Gardening will create memories,
encourage communication, and develop a strong family bond. Keep in mind that gardening has to battle
for attention considering technology and other activities that consume a young one. Try not to make it a
chore, and instead show them how much gardening means to you. Building a garden will give your child
the opportunity to call it his or her own and an ‘I did it myself’ mentality. Don’t expect your children to
complete all the garden maintenance or their enjoyment and interest may dissolve. Instead, try to give
them good gardening experiences that will become great family memories.
When building the garden start small, brainstorm together, and use an idea from every family member.
Add pathways and let each member plant something different in one-foot-squares. Rustic arches,
sunflower rooms, and been tepees garden projects can entertain the whole family, and create a kidfriendly
fun place.

 

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