Use EQ to Prevent Bullying , By Lisa King
Bullying is a problem in many schools and communities. Statistics show that 1 out of every 4 children are bullied at school. Studies also show that special needs children are two to three times more likely to be bullied than their typical peers, with reports showing nearly 50% of autistic children are victims of bullying.
Reasons for Bullying
The first step to prevent bullying lies in gaining an understanding of why some children choose to bully. Sometimes children are fearful of other children who look and act differently and do not know how to empathize with non-typical peers. By becoming aware of feelings such as jealousy, fear, and anger and learning ways to control these emotions, children can work through emotionally charged issues with kindness and compassion. Therefore, many educators are taking initiatives to include social and emotional intelligence (EQ) training in the classroom. Emotional intelligence includes concepts like self-awareness, self-control, empathy, motivation and good social skills.
Benefits of EQ
Children who demonstrate a high EQ are more likely to achieve academic success, have better relationships, and are less likely to engage in problem behaviors such as bullying. They are better able to recognize, evaluate, and control their emotions, and in turn, are able to understand the thoughts and feelings of others and then act appropriately. EQ tools also help children who might be bullied to respond with self-confidence. Children who recognize their self-worth and have confidence are emotionally secure and develop resiliency to stressful situations. Strengthening our youth’s emotional muscles helps them to be able to deal with the hard knocks of life.
The Disability Factors
The need for children to learn emotional intelligence such as caring, compassion and empathy toward their disabled peers is greater today than ever before. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 13% or 6.5 million school-aged children were receiving special education services during the 2013-2014 school year. This move toward inclusion of special needs students into the general classroom, almost guarantees that your child will at some point encounter a child with a disability sometime during the school year, if not on a daily basis. Critics argue that emotional training should be taught at home rather than in the classroom, and rightfully so. However, who suffers if children are not being taught emotional intelligence at home? Every child deserves to attend school and learn in a healthy, safe environment that is free from bullying and abuse. Therefore, educators and parents must work together to prevent bullying by teaching children how to identify negative feelings and healthy ways to respond to these emotions.
The Polka Dot Project
Lifelong.Media is joining the fight against bullying with the creation of The Polka Dot Project, an animated series that will help children to show caring and compassion for those who are different from themselves. To learn more information about this project, please watch our video on our website’s home page, www.lifelong.media and click on the button for The Polka Dot Project.