Teaching children manners

2016-08-30 06:00
Shani Coetzer, Ms Manners representitive for Fish Hoek, during one of the bully workshops.

Shani Coetzer, Ms Manners representitive for Fish Hoek, during one of the bully workshops.

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In an effort to decrease bullying a local organisation is turning their attention to young children.

Manners4Minors, an organisation that runs extra mural programmes at schools accross the country also runs free bully workshops to help children identify when they are being bullies and when they are being bullied.

The organisation was developed in 2007 and has achieved much success since its inception.

Targeting three to six-year-olds, they run workshops on manners and behaviour.

Shani Coetzer, Ms Manners representitive for Fish Hoek, says she runs the workshops with various schools across the southern suburbs.

These also include what to do when childen get lost and how to deal with anger, peer pressure and making smart children.

Although their workshops are paid for, Coetzer says they offer free bully workshops as part of the organisation’s ‘give back’.

She uses puppets and lessons to help children identify and break the patterns of bullying.

“Teachers and pupils responded really nicely [to the bully workshops],” says Coetzer.

“When someone else comes into the school the children get excited because there are puppets and roleplay and it is something they like to listen to and they interact. I think it is a very positive experience for everyone.”

Part of the organisation’s vision is to help create a foundation for more socially successful children.

Through the workshops children understand what a bully is, and what bullies do, what the different types of bullies are and what to do if you’re bullied.

“Children need to recognise that they can be the bully as well so with our workshops we help them understand when they are being bullied and what a bully is,” says Coetzer.

“Children can learn how to deal with bullying from a young age and help them to know when to stand up for themselves and say ‘stop that, it’s wrong’ and learn how to ignore a bully.”

It further educates children on where to go and who to tell if they have been bullied.

“Young children are quick to label someone a bully because they don’t understnd what a bully is,” she says.

The objectives is to get children who may be bullies to recognize these traits in themselves, and to see the hurt their behaviour causes and to empower those who are being bullied.

“In our lesson we teach that when someone hurts them, they need to decide how to deal with that. From an early age [if they know how to identify a bully] they can deal with bullying a lot better,” she says.

V To find a Ms Manners near you visit their website on www.manners4minors.com.

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