Use feedback

The momentJack got on the school bus everyone groaned. He was so fat that someone would end up getting squashed. He felt bullied.

Tell your child: Every time you say or do something to another living being, you get a response. It can range from extremely subtle, such as a raised eyebrow or a stare, to the very obvious, such as a mean tease or a kick in the shins. The response is called feedback. You use feedback to identify nice and nasty people. If you don't listen to feedback, you may overlook the kids who are just having fun. Then you risk payback because they felt rejected by you. Or you could be bullied by mean kids and be blind to games which turn nasty.

In fact,you always need to make yourself safe. This includes stranger danger, risky physical situations, avoiding a dog attack and dealing with bullies. Feedback is your safety guide. It tells you how to use your survival skills to protect yourself and shows you what to do next. You need to check out everything to find out who is friendly or nasty. You need to observe the bully's behaviours - e.g. his eyes,face, body language, voice -and onlookers' reactions.Then checkyourgut feelings. Do you feel safe or not? Then take appropriate action, alone or with help.

An example of feedback is 'Pin the tail on the donkey', Blind Man's Bluff, or Marco Polo, a water game. You continue until you hear the right feedback, e.g. 'Very hot', which means you are in the right spot. You get your prize.

There are three types of feedback:

1. Positive - you feel comfortable, safe, happy.

2. Constructive - you can take action to help yourself.

3. Destructive/Negative - you feel hurt, scared, threatened, angry.

Askyour child for examples of different types of feedback and show him how to categorise it into positive, constructive and destructive. You can begin with sibling talk.

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