This month, schools nationwide are joining forces in a big fight—a fight against bullying. It’s an important issue for parents, caregivers, and teachers to anticipate; that's why I have been raising awareness about the problem for about 30 years.
One troubling trend is that bullying behavior can start in a child as young as three years old. Whether they are shoving a classmate or ignoring him altogether, bullies—no matter how young they are—bully with the intent to hurt, humiliate, harass, harm and hold power over peers.
I can imagine no parent wants his young child to behave this way, so how can we stop bullying before it even starts? The answer lies in helping our children develop an emotional intelligence, which is a child’s awareness of his own emotions and the emotions of others. Since emotions are a young child’s very first source for communication, parents can take that opportunity to arm their children with a heightened self-awareness, the ability to manage intense emotions, and a sense of empathy. Teaching these skills will not only help mitigate aggressive and violent tendencies but also build character and help develop morals.
During National Bullying Prevention Month, I will share more about my philosophies on emotional intelligence and how it serves as a constructive solution to bullying prevention.