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PlaygroundEquipment Blog
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How Parents Can Make School Playgrounds Violence-Free

Without a doubt, school serves as the extension of our homes in many imperative forms. School plays a vital character in shaping the way our kids blink and think. It is the secondary community from where our kids draw knowledge – theoretically and realistically. With the span of time kids spend at this setting, it is essential for parents to ensure that their kids’ second home is safe and free from any violence scheme.

Photo courtesy of Stefani Woods via Flickr, Creative Commons
In a way, school also plays a part as another important component for kids’ playing scene. In fact, the trend of putting playground as part of the future schools’ build plans is startlingly accelerating. Play and playground have been part of the school environment and kids from all ages are actively involved on it.

But surprisingly, school playground violence is more likely to become mainstream today as more and more incidents are being marked in each school file case documents. Indeed, according to a report from American Medical Association, over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year – moderate up to serious bullying cases. A study from Mahoney also asserted that 47.2% of bullying happens in school hallway or stairwell, 33.6% of bullying occurs in the classroom, and a sounding 20% of bullying situations arise on school grounds, on playgrounds, and even in school services busses. This study merely shows that bullying transpires in many locations where children gather to study, play, and hang out.

Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Centers Inc. via Flickr, Creative Commons
The initial figures are quite alarming in a way that the settings we usually think our kids would learn are also the places where bullying and young violence plagues are evident. Since elementary school children continue to relish recess periods on school playgrounds, it is vital to examine how safe our school playground for our kids is.

More often than not, recess periods are the least secure time of any school day and we cannot argue with that in any further extent. Schools and parents are struggling to take a stand against school playground violence. Subsiding this growing human epidemic in school playground setting is the modern challenge of parents and the second acting parents – teachers – as well. So how can parents, despite not being around 24/7 with their kids, be of help to make school playgrounds violence-free in reality? Here’s how!

Start on your Abode’s Playground

Simple yet unforeseen is it but yes, the very important initial way on how to make school playgrounds violence-free is by starting right on your home’s playground. By simply making your kids playground at home free from any bullying and violence structure is a great proceed to start the system. As they say, bullying at school has often been a factor from home and family issues. Bullied children from our home are the school playground bully students so rest assure that in every detail, your home's playground is in proper structure every single time.

Educate for Them to Become an Advocate

Teach them the clear definition of school violence. Parents and schools should need to have a common language and be on the same page on this matter in order to reduce it right away. As defined by, school violence is a subcategory of youth violence which is a broader public health predicament. Violence in nature is the intended use of physical force against another person, group or community with the actions likely to cause physical or psychological harm. One specific example of this is the ever-mounting, bullying.

Educating them about bullying and school violence through just defining it is merely not enough. Mentioning the effects of bullying on each individual will also help your kids to have a gist of how outrageous really the payback is. To mention, of those students who were bullied at school, 65% said it had damaged self-confidence, 36% had affected ability to socialize and make friends, and 27% said it had affected individual's mental health. Resounding upshot, isn’t it? You can start expanding bullying definition by citing these figures in some simple language your kids can understand.

But it should not end there. Teach your kids how to handle being bullied without being crushed or vanquished. Practice and develop assertive strategies for ignoring and coping with bullying. Impart to your kids’ mind that there is no indignity in walking away or telling an adult and asking for help if bullying occurs. Apart from it, encourage also your kids to intervene, be a hero and an advocate to prevent bullying when they perceive.

Forget the Labels and Just Address Behaviors

Bullying builds an ecosystem of anxiety for kids and in the end impedes their growing development.

Parents and teachers who call children a bully or a victim, unknowingly creating judgments and stereotype labels, cause more harm and problem in the future of that particular student. Children that have been accused of being bullies are more likely to become victims in verity, a report reveals. Instead of a help, labels such as these can truly affect both sides. That is why when addressing the problem, equal judgments are needed.

Before assessing whether the incident is bullying or not, listen and evaluate both stories, know the current and past behavior of each individual, and make required measures on it. Remember that each student involved in a school playground violence situation have dissimilar circumstances to take into account. The formula for fixing the problem is simple; involve the student who is doing the bullying or the violence and also the bullied party. As much as possible take fewer labels and just engage addressing the behavior.

Set Rules but Make It Simple

In effect, bullied students perform shoddier in school and prevent social consistency and bonding with their classmates, friends, and even with their second parents. Like bullied kids, school aesthetics and socialization scheme are also affected in the perspective of bully students.

As parents, setting clear rules to your kids when playing on the school playground or even public playground is considered necessary to ensure that they are in proper behavior. Rules allow your kids to know what behavior is perceived for them. In setting up rules, parents may want to consider writing rules within a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) framework. Scheuermann and Hall suggests that rules should be stated in positive terms, must be in a minimum number depending upon the age, and should cover multiple situations and must be age appropriate. In addition, those rules should be well communicated to your kids and make sure that you have an example for rule-following behavior. Being consistent in enforcing the rules is also part of the system. Edify your kids that rules are set not meant to break but to obey and take.

Communicate To Create

Photo courtesy of U.S. Army via Flickr, Creative Commons
Parenting is 90% communication and 10% guidance. Communication is as vital as milk to growing brains. When parents have open communication to their kids, their kids at the same time will feel more open to talking to them about their troubles, including bullying. Small simple talks open a way for your kids to discuss beyond non-academic experiences and learnings.

Communication is not only limited to your kids but should be extended also to other people who support and are part of the school environment. Have an open and active communication with the second parents and with the school organizations. Doing so can help you craft a school environment that is anti-school playground violence in theme. In some point, teachers and schools are having a diminutive struggle in opening up and monitoring bullying incidents. As parents, you can help them by creating firm lines that will ensure rapport for the betterment of your kids' behavior. Bridging communication to other parents can also help you out to prevent playground bullying and violence inside your kids’ school.

Take Some Research and Make Actions
Bullying is not going to end right away so being persistent and consistent on stopping it is a moving blueprint. Parents should have a full responsibility on taking some proactive research about the past and existing school playground violence cases. By this, parents can have a glimpse of the trends and the forthcoming possibilities that eventually may arise. Take also some time to evaluate school playground aesthetics. Research shows that a well-created playground produces lesser violence. Establish and practice to become an active parent who will suggest improvements to your kid's school playground if necessary by means of your findings. Intelligent parenting can be a modern drift to change this school playground quandary.

Be Green to Subside Bullying

Photo courtesy of Esther Ksenia Novikova via Flickr, Creative Commons
It may be very bizarre but by bringing nature into your kid’s lives, you entreat humility on them. Parents should extend their moves in de-escalating bullying and violence by turning and pressing that green button immediately. Veritably, nature playground may diminish violence. As a matter of fact, research has observed that in Sweden, Australia, Canada, and US, children who play on the environmentally dominated playing arena rather that natural elements establish social hierarchy through physical competence, engage in more fantasy play, and develop language skills, creativity, and inventiveness. In addition, boys and girls have greater chances to play together in unrestricted ways. So the next time you will go to your kids' school playground, check up whether it is nature oriented. If not, help in creating one and let your kids and others engage in nature one play at a time.

Be a Moving Example

Kids learn behavior through their homes, more especially through their parents. Parents who are not warm and loving are more likely to produce bully children.

Parents should be a moving manifestation of positive behavior along with their kids. Remember that being exposed to destructive behavior or any overly strict surroundings makes kids more prone to bullying. Make your own self a bully free and be an active bully opponent. Let your kids know that you're part of different anti-violence organization. Next thing you will know, they will the one who will initiate to be part of that faction.

Go Play With Them

Photo courtesy of Nico Cavallotto via Flickr, Creative Commons
Educating them is solely not sufficient to avert bullying and school playground cruelty. Parents should also be familiar that being with them along the process is a substantial factor. Parents and kids playing interaction help not only kids to become feel guided but also parents to become more critical in their kid’s playing character. The intention is not to instill stringency but to create time adjusting and altering things in perspective.

School is composed of a triangular connection between parents, teachers, and students. All children have the prime right to be free from any violence in school more especially with their playground where most of them access, engage, and spend their quality time.

Parents and second acting parents should work hand in hand to shape in a bully-free setting for kids. They are involved in children's lives and they all have a grand impact. But nothing will beat parent’s responsibility to gauge and ensure kid’s safety. Remember, molding your kids to become prepared in bullying and violence scene outside starts internally at your home.

Be the modern hero that your children really needs. It is not impossible for you as parents to become part of a change that will pilot free school playground violence; in fact, you are the up-to-the-minute solution to this bullying puzzle. Begin the drift with your kids’ first school – your home!

Learn about the author: Jennifer Holmes

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