On November 19, 2015, Krystal Ghisyawan, representing the Silver Lining Foundation, met with the Parent-teacher Association of the Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Association (ASJA) Primary School in San Fernando. There were approximately one hundred parents in attendance.
Krystal spoke for fifteen minutes on the parents’ role in raising future adults, their responsibility for stemming the spread of bullying by teaching how to respect others and empathise, as well as how to deal with bullying in schools.
The talk was followed by a lively question and answer session. Parents drew from their experiences with ASJA primary and from their children at other schools, to voice concerns about peer-bullying, aggression and shaming performed by teachers, and some of the methods they can use to discipline children, rather than punish them.
The conversation was in the tone of proactive parenting, encouraging parents to model behaviours that they would like their children to mirror. Krystal stressed the need for dialogue between parent and child, so that children can be critical of their experiences and exposure to violence out in the world.
Some highlights from Krystal’s talk include:
- What is bullying and how to recognise if your child may be bullied or bullying?
- Bullying is a learned behaviour
- Exposure to violence teaches that violence is an accessible way to deal with conflict
- Parents must teach other modes of conflict resolution, anger management and emotional health
- Overall, we need to learn empathy and respect for others
Some questions posed by parents include:
- How do you deal with a teacher that is bullying students?
- What is the process or procedure in place to deal with a bully?
- What support services can I access for my child after they have experienced bullying?
- How do we ‘discipline’ instead of ‘punish’?
- How do I talk to my child about bullying?
Currently, you can download the Foundation’s guidebook, “Mom, Dad, I’m Gay”: A PARENT’S GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING & ACCEPTANCE and the Bullying 101 Student Handout by clicking the highlighted links.
Pages 10 and 11 of the guidebook, list some useful resources available right here in Trinidad and Tobago.
If you would like us to visit your school, please contact us using the information below.