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Respectful relationships key to preventing bullying

Wednesday, 31 Jan 2018

As children head back to school amid renewed concerns about cyber-bullying, Life Education announced the launch of its new program module, Relate Respect Connect, aimed at teaching children aged 10-13 how to build safe and respectful relationships.

The module, which is available to schools across the country from term one, was co-funded by Gandel Philanthropy and Life Ed Foundation.

Bullying in any form can be complex and challenging for both parents and schools and the problem needs to be addressed at a fundamental level. There is more to cyber-bullying than just teaching children how to block the culprits – across our community there is a need to promote tolerance and respect.

We must take a constructive approach to the problem rather than assigning blame. Often, young people don’t see the link between their actions and consequences.

Children are going to come across people who they don’t agree with or who don’t make them feel good. We need to equip them with skills including how to respectfully manage disagreements, develop self-respect and empathy, and respond to disrespectful behaviours.

In 2016 Life Ed released a dedicated cybersafety module for children aged 8-10. ‘bCyberwise’ has become Life Ed’s most sought after module reaching around 70,000 students nationally in the past 12 months.

The new Relate Respect Connect module, aimed at upper primary students, builds on this success and looks at how to promote safe and respectful relationships both online and offline.

Students are taught key skills including how to respect themselves and others, maintaining positive relationships, and strategies to respond to unsafe or disrespectful behaviour, which are fundamental to promoting resilience and positive mental health, as well as future academic and career success.