This week was NAIDOC Week. One aspect of Indigenous culture that I would like to discuss is ‘Yarning’.
Yarning or talking has traditionally occurred in a group setting which is referred to as a yarning circle. In this space, the group discuss different issues in a supportive manner. The practice of yarning has been integrated into the larger community to help tackle mental health and wellbeing issues among indigenous and non-indigenous children. Telethonkids.org.au has written an article on how parents can use yarning on an interpersonal level to discuss the issue of bullying with their children.
Kids helpline defines, “bullying as an ongoing or repeated misuse of power in relationships, to cause deliberate psychological harm”. Bullying can happen in physical or in online social settings for example at school or social media. If parents are worried their kids are being bullied at school, Telethonkids.org.au highlights that yarning is a great practice that parents can use to create a supportive space where their children can learn to understand and cope with bullying.
Telethonkids.org.au suggests the following tips for parents to utilise during their yarn if their children are experiencing bullying at school:
- Tell your child that bullying is wrong and that they have the right to feel safe and happy
- Ask your child if this is the first time this has happened and, if it is not the first time, talk about what has been done to help the situation so far. After, parents can then create a plan which could help the situation such as making sure your kids know how to get help and support at school
- Always talk to the school about the bullying issues; they may not know about the situation or may not have the whole story. Also, as a parent be willing to work with the school to make sure the bullying stops.
I would like to leave you with the following information from research conducted by bullyingnoway.gov.au, which states that students up to year 6 who are experiencing bullying are most likely to go to either a parent or caregiver for help regarding their situation. This research highlights the importance of yarning and creating a safe space where children feel heard when seeking help regarding issues of bullying in school and out of school.
For more information on yarning with children about bullying, please visit the following websites: