Children and Bullying: How Parents and Educators can Reduce Bullying at School by J Rigby.
Like other educational psychologists around the world in Hong Kong we often have to deal with issues of bullying. Children with special needs such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders dyslexia and other developmental difficulties can sometimes have more difficulty dealing with bullying issues. A new resource for both parents and educators is always welcome. Children and bullying is a thoroughly detailed exposition on how parents and teachers can help to reduce bullying. Rigby is realistic in his approach, believing that it is more about reduction than eradication. The book is very readable, well structured and informative, with the author looking at the issue holistically. Interestingly, the author noted that bullying is a reflection of the human condition and generally defines it as “the systematic abuse of power in interpersonal relationships’, citing examples in recent history such as slavery.
Parents are increasingly being provided with the opportunity to take part in anti-bullying initiatives and this book is a timely recognition of that. It understands their contribution to the issue and values their inclusion in the discussion. Schools have the greatest power differences amongst social groupings and so there is often space for conflict. Rigby identifies these power differences and gives us the opportunity to get inside the mind of a bully as well as offering a focus on bystander support. The author states what some good schools are doing about bullying, and educators are provided with guidance on how to write an anti-bullying policy.
Mental health issues are covered both for the victim and the perpetrator, and the author suggests that these characteristics can be inherited. Parenting styles are discussed and parents are encouraged not to feel guilty about what their child experiences. Excellent advice is given on how to help children with their bullying problems. The section about the influence parents have on their children at different ages will be enjoyed by anyone who has heard themselves talking to a child and sounding like their own mother.