Free of Bullying
The Mary Foundation and Save the Children Denmark have joined forces to introduce the anti-bullying programme Free of Bullying, which is now being successfully implemented in half of all Danish preschools and in 40 % of all primary schools/after-schools in Denmark.
Free of Bullying has been developed to prevent bullying among 3-8 year-olds. It consists of a suitcase with pedagogical tools such as Buddy Bear, conversation boards and the use of rhythm. These tools enable teachers to talk to the children with ease about an otherwise abstract subject such as bullying. And studies show that many of the children become more caring toward each other, while no less than 98% of teachers would recommend Free of Bullying to other institutions.
Bullying must be tackled through prevention
Bullying actually rarely occurs when the children in a group have been made aware of the difference between teasing for fun and teasing for real. And when they learn that it is cool to be able to say no and help others. Free of Bullying gives the children specific tools to handle teasing and bullying, and the material also includes advice and information for parents and professionals about their important roles in preventing bullying.
“It is clear that children attending preschools and schools that work intensively with Free of Bullying are significantly better at handling teasing and bullying.”
Free of Bullying is the first comprehensive and combined effort against bullying in preschools and early primary school grades. In a study from 2011, Free of Bullying was rated positively both by its users and by professor Jan Kampmann, who heads up the follow-up research at Roskilde University. The results and evaluation of this research has been published in eight subreports.
Free of Bullying has been developed on the initiative of Crown Princess Mary and was inspired by the Better Buddies programme introduced by the Australian organisation The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
Bullying and Well-being
Bullying and a failure to thrive are interlinked. When a child is bullied, he or she does not thrive. And when a children's group is not thriving, there is a big risk of bullying and social isolation arising. Thriving in a children's group is all about giving all of the children the right tools and values, so that tolerance and togetherness become the focus. The work to prevent bullying is therefore inextricably linked with fostering well-being and inclusion.