I was lucky. I'd never been bullied ... until that time. I was thirteen and it went on for nearly a year. It wasn’t physical. It wasn’t aggressive. But it was repetitive and demeaning: a rumour contorted, embellished and thrown around the classroom with wild abandon by those who wanted to humiliate me.
Camps can be a time of fun and friendship-building. Getting away from the classroom for a few days and trying your hand at new activities can be so enjoyable. But not for everyone. For many children, the fun of camp is overshadowed by concerns. Whilst some student may bound off to camp with barely a backward glance, many children will need some extra help to see past their worries, to the fun that lies beyond.
In last week's blog, What to Do When Your Child Says They're Bullied, we looked at ways parents could support and help their children when they claim to be victims of bullying. But often the problem extends way beyond the bullies themselves to the bystanders who aggravate the situation through collusion or inaction.
I started giving my eldest child pocket money each week when he was in Year 1. He was learning about coins and notes in school and I thought it would be a good time to give him some of the real thing to practice with. I decided on an (arbitrary) amount of $2, which I made up in coins of one dollar, 50 cents, 20 cents, two 10 cents and two 5 cents to give him plenty of denominations to play with.