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Updated: Nov 29, 2023

Not too sure if you have seen the news about the 7-year-old boy who was punched by another 7-year-old boy (Yes! Another 7-year-old boy) on the school grounds. The victim’s name was Jayden Pham and he had to undergo brain surgery because of this incident. As a parent of a 7-year-old boy, this raises so many questions in my head. Who is responsible for this incident? Is it the parent of the aggressor, who may have not taught their child the consequences of a bad action? Is it the school that didn’t have any supervision on the school grounds when this happened? OR Is it the government who are not spending enough money to make children and parents aware of the bullying epidemic that is growing so rapidly in our society? WHO IS TO BE BLAMED???

As a children’s book author, I deal with lots of children daily. Most of the children are very innocent, simple, and beautiful. That is why I love writing for them. But it is also true that children can be complex, manipulative, and aggressive (like in this instance). As parents, we are all guilty of thinking that we have the most innocent and naive child … but are we ready to accept that maybe… JUST MAYBE, our child has a sinister side too? Are we ready to teach them the consequences of a bad action? Are we ready to teach them why bullying is bad? I am sure all of us, at some point, have talked to our child about how to deal with a bully at school or a playground. BUT WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU FOUND OUT THAT IT IS YOUR CHILD WHO IS THE BULLY OR THE AGGRESSOR? Will you be in denial? Will you punish them? Will you educate them? ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THAT CONVERSATION?

Okay, now let's talk about what we teach our kids about how to deal with a bully or an aggressor. As a parent and someone who doesn’t like confrontation, I tell my child to run away. As the famous saying goes, ‘There is no point arguing with stupid’. I teach my son the same thing when it comes to aggression. If someone wants to fight you, you run away to a safe place! Your safety is more important than proving you are right. But does that mean he will not learn to fight back for his rights? Oh! The second-guessing that goes on in my head… it is not pleasant!

But one thing that I am absolutely sure of is the benefit of good communication… “Actively Listened”, “Judgemental-Free”, and “Distraction-Free” conversations with your child. I know it is hard, as we always have other important things to take care of, but I feel like this is a long-term investment that will help our children grow into more adjusted humans.

I think we will all agree that a lot of work needs to happen in this space. Some of it has to come from our government, some from our schools, but I believe most of the work has to come from us PARENTS. With so many non-sensical things happening around the world, it is our responsibility as parents to make our kids aware that ‘Aggression is never the solution’. We mustn’t just shield our kids from these aggressions but also talk to them and educate them (about both sides) as often as we can.

Photo courtesy: Nine News Australia

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