The 11th – 15th November is Anti Bullying week for schools in the UK.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance are organisers of this awareness campaign. “Whether it is verbal, physical, online or in-person, bullying has a significant impact on a child’s life well in to adulthood. By making small, simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe environment for everyone. Because together, we can challenge bullying. Change starts with a conversation. It starts with checking in. It starts with work together.”
Having a conversation and checking in with a child requires listening skills and at the Foundation we are finding that more parents, carers and teachers are coming to one of our centres to participate in the part time Introduction to Counselling skills course to be able to better do this.
The training isn’t just for those seeking to become counsellors but wanting to learn and enhance vital communications skills such as active listening, closed and open questions, summarising, verbal and non-verbal cues like body language as well as the importance of empathy.
All are critical tools to equip adults to provide a safe environment where young people feel they are able to open up and talk about their feelings, understand without judging what the young person is going through and offer the necessary support.
Naturally developing and employing these skills will be useful for anyone wishing to enhance relationships and support others of all ages. This could be for both personal and professional reasons at home or the workplace with children, friends, family and colleagues alike.
Anti-bullying Alliance’s motto for this year’s campaign is “Change starts with us,” what could be more important than learning to listen to our children in a way that makes them feel safe and supported.
In addition to our training, we provide counselling for those aged 18+ but can signpost to organisations and charities that offer a counselling service for children in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.