Teach kids to be more assertive to fight bullying

Mr Ang Kwang Yong raised a valid and serious concern about bullying in schools (Take concrete steps to end bullying; March 1).

His desire to see bullying end is legitimate and warrants appropriate attention.

However, his suggestion of installing closed-circuit television cameras to monitor the behaviour of students in classrooms should be the last resort - and for gathering evidence to bring the culprit to justice.

It does not teach children to stand up to bullying.

As concerned parents, we should go beyond asking for more policing to keep our environment safe.

When we merely ask for more policing, we are demonstrating our helplessness and our children will not learn how to deal with such a situation.

What is more helpful is showing our children how to be assertive - which is different from being aggressive - and teaching them to be resilient.

It would be worthwhile to explore this with our children and help them develop the appropriate skills to deal with life's problems, including standing up to bullies.

Thomas Lee Hock Seng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2018, with the headline 'Teach kids to be more assertive to fight bullying'. Print Edition | Subscribe