Bullying is something that everyone has experienced in their lives. Whether it was being bullied, seeing a friend being bullied or even being a bully yourself, bullying can have far reaching implications in a child’s life. That’s why the Canadian Red Cross, in association with the Village of Radium and Columbia Basin Trust are offering a free workshop at the Radium Firehall on May 15 and 16 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., to help parents and youth workers better understand the issue that our kids face today.
“The issue of bullying and harassment is age old, but it is now an issue that is being recognized as having a significant impact on children’s self esteem and personal competence,” RespectED Co-ordinator and Service Area Manager Chris MacPherson said. “It takes literally into adulthood to repair the damage.”
The workshop, entitled “Beyond the Hurt” is a free workshop that aims to help parents and others to better understand the issues behind bullying and learn how to develop and implement successful prevention strategies. The six-hour workshop is completely free of charge thanks to donations from the Village of Radium and the Columbia Basin Trust, however there are only 20 seats available, and MacPherson says that some of those seats have already been filled.
“We are no longer as a society minimizing the issue, but what is also happening is that we are becoming a less empathetic society,” MacPherson said. “We’re dealing more with our own lives rather than a community approach.”
The Canadian Red Cross bullying program is about 10 years old according to MacPherson, and she estimates they have held about 25 similar workshops across the province this year. She says that the Red Cross is now trying to also focus on smaller communities as opposed to solely the larger urban centres, as bullying “crosses all demographics.”
“It’s not just an issue for urban kids, it’s an issue for all families,” she said. “Smaller communities often have fewer resources to deal with a situation, so it really does become community work to deal with the problem.”
The workshop itself, which is meant for parents, coaches, daycare workers, and leaders at other youth organizations such as Scouts, teaches how bullying and harassment are based on interpersonal power issues, and how these play out among young people. It also explores types of bullying, the negative effects and impact on young people, how the law and school policies can react to the problem, and strategies for preventing bullying and harassment from occurring at all levels.
“Putting all the onus on the children to fix the problem — they can only do so much, and be responsible for so much,” MacPherson said. “Adults in their lives also need to take on some of that responsibility.”
To register for the highly-interactive workshop, contact Chris MacPherson at either email@example.com or by calling 250 365 1905.