By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar with files from KitaabWorld.com
According to some bullying statistics in Canada bullying occurs once every 7 minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom. However, in the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behaviour. Part of the dialogue needs to be why bullying happens in the first place…and this can be related to the messages kids may receive about what it means to be different. And that being different is ‘bad’. Whether that’s through the current political climate, or what kids see on the playground, we all play a role in putting a stop to bullying.
Here’s what you should know:
- Punching, shoving, teasing, spreading bad rumours, keeping certain people out of a group, getting certain people to “gang-up” on others are all forms of bullying
- One in seven Canadian children aged 11 to 16 are victims of bullying
- 25% of children in grades 4 to 6 have been bullied
- Adults who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression in adulthood.
- * Between 10% and 15% of high school students are victims.
- * 11% of secondary students bully other youngsters at least once a year.
- * 31% of students say they would participate in the bullying of a young dislikes.
Growing up with diversity as the norm has often been part of our conversations. Research shows that being in diverse communities promotes better critical thinking among other benefits. So celebrating differences and sharing our similarities is a great way to encourage positive conversations.
Here is a curated list of books that explore the idea of of “Celebrating Differences and kindness”:
In this story, two best friends struggle over the differences in their favourite food. Will they be able to overcome their differences over a sandwich? Peanut butter or a Hummus sandwich, which one would you choose?
Does everyone react to the same situation in the same way? Would a mouse react the same way when it sees a cat as a dog would? Obviously not! This is another great concept to teach to the little ones to understand that we all view situations and people from our own perspective. Nothing like a cat’s eye view of the many ways of seeing!
It’s okay to need some help.
It’s okay to be a different color.
It’s okay to talk about your feelings.
It’s Okay to Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding, and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format featuring Todd Parr’s trademark bold, bright colours and silly scenes. Targeted to young children first beginning to read, this book will inspire kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence.
It’s Okay to be Different is designed to encourage early literacy, enhance emotional development, celebrate multiculturalism, and promote character growth.
Age: 3 and up
One of India’s most popular young adult writers, Ranjit Lal is back—this time with the moving tale of Sushmita and the bullies who try to take her down. When Sushmita shows up for her first day at Rugged Rocks High with a sweet round face and innocent eyes, the principal is worried. “Putting that lovely child amongst our kids?”she exclaims, “it’s like putting a dugong into a tank of barracudas!”And she’s right to worry, because Sushmita is just a bit slower than her classmates. But we quickly see that Sushmita has special ways to fight back against bullies and soon she’s changed all of her classmates’lives for the better.
In Dugong and the Barracudas, Lal tackles questions of prejudice, bullying, and special needs with his signature blend of humor and insight, challenging young readers to step out of their own skins and see the world through someone else’s eyes.
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