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  #41  
Old 28.04.2014, 14:45
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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I realise that this is not what the OP wants to hear but in this case running to the teaching and involving the teacher won't help. He needs to "men up" and defend himself. This can be done by shouting loudly "Laah mich in Rueh! (leave me alone) if that does not help by ONE hard push. The child might fall. He might cry. Your son needs then to walk away. As others have said. Not start a fight himself, but defend himself once he is attacked. If he is attacked verbally, defend verbally. If he is attacked physically, one push and walking away.
To carry this on a bit, I often wonder (and now I wonder even more having read this thread) how the kids who have had every single minor negative reaction shielded from them will cope once they are adults and have nobody to fight their battles for them.

As a grown up, you can't run to your boss every time someone makes a snippy remark or looks at you in a funny way or barges you out of the way if you're a daydreaming at the top of the staircase.

You would end up appearing as a whiner that people avoid for fear of being on the receiving end of some kind of accusation.
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  #42  
Old 28.04.2014, 14:49
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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As a grown up, you can't run to your boss every time someone makes a snippy remark or looks at you in a funny way or barges you out of the way if you're a daydreaming at the top of the staircase.
you can and many people do, unfortunately :-/
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Old 28.04.2014, 14:55
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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you can and many people do, unfortunately :-/
Well, yes of course you can and it destroys the atmosphere in the office.
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Old 28.04.2014, 15:08
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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To carry this on a bit, I often wonder (and now I wonder even more having read this thread) how the kids who have had every single minor negative reaction shielded from them will cope once they are adults and have nobody to fight their battles for them.

As a grown up, you can't run to your boss every time someone makes a snippy remark or looks at you in a funny way or barges you out of the way if you're a daydreaming at the top of the staircase.

You would end up appearing as a whiner that people avoid for fear of being on the receiving end of some kind of accusation.
I would like to comment on this but your quote "Some people just need a high-five. In the face. With a chair" makes me a little reluctant to do so.
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  #45  
Old 28.04.2014, 15:11
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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I would like to comment on this but your quote "Some people just need a high-five. In the face. With a chair" makes me a little reluctant to do so.
I could change it to a bean bag if it makes you feel better...
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  #46  
Old 28.04.2014, 16:25
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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Minor violence is definitely part of finding one's place in the group and being able to deal with that is essential for children - even though it can be ugly to look at for parents and teachers.
This is one of the major differences. It's not just that it's ugly to look at. It is something that is not tolerated in every school I've attended and my children have attended until now. Its a HUGE cultural difference for children moving over here. Instead, the schools and other children's programs I've experienced work more on empathy and acceptance and learning to keep your hands to yourself.
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Old 28.04.2014, 16:31
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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With regard to the OP. It think her son is an "easy target" hence he will be picked on. He needs to stand up for himself. Shove the biggest child or push him once but really hard will make them realise he will not allow them to walk over him. That is most times all it needs. Send him to Judo classes. It will give him self-confidence just by knowing he COULD actually fight them if he wanted. I am not pro-violence but once this cycle has started it is important to stand up for himself now. An older friend walking over and letting the other children know that he will protect the younger one will also help. Sign him up for the scouts where he will get to know older children. Simply saying hello to them in the school-yard might help.


I realise that this is not what the OP wants to hear but in this case running to the teaching and involving the teacher won't help. He needs to "men up" and defend himself. This can be done by shouting loudly "Laah mich in Rueh! (leave me alone) if that does not help by ONE hard push. The child might fall. He might cry. Your son needs then to walk away. As others have said. Not start a fight himself, but defend himself once he is attacked. If he is attacked verbally, defend verbally. If he is attacked physically, one push and walking away.
It's not as simple as that. He's recovering from trauma from severe bullying at his previous school. I'm currently researching some additional self defense classes (he attended a workshop as all of the bullying began), but it is better that he learns to interpret the levels of aggression and react accordingly. Otherwise, he's likely to react with a "10" if the level of attack is only a "5" due to his current vision from the trauma.
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Old 28.04.2014, 16:43
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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This is one of the major differences. It's not just that it's ugly to look at. It is something that is not tolerated in every school I've attended and my children have attended until now. Its a HUGE cultural difference for children moving over here. Instead, the schools and other children's programs I've experienced work more on empathy and acceptance and learning to keep your hands to yourself.
To be fair, though, you mention earlier in the thread that your experience is mainly of the Montessori system so it's probably difficult to compare such a system in the US to the run-of-the-mill and accept-all state system in a completely different country.

My nieces, nephews and friends' kids attending state school in the UK pretty much find the same thing there as here I experience here in Switzerland. Teachers have the same sort of level of intervention across the board with maybe minor differences here and there.

You mention that it is a HUGE cultural difference but I get the feeling because you and your son have found yourselves at the sharp end of a bout of bullying it has somehow magnified the differences in your eyes.

For me, examples of "HUGE" cultural difference would be the language and/or the curriculum, or teaching methods. Differences in interaction between kids, culturally, would be a minor thing but maybe if my son had been on the end of some bullying I would also find it a massive issue.

I think your idea to send him to a self defence class is a good one. It will give him somewhere to channel his anger towards whoever did the bullying and give him a bit of confidence to deal with it should it happen again in the future.
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Old 28.04.2014, 16:50
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

Our kids school offered a course for 4.-6. graders through this company:

http://www.selbstsicherheit.ch/kinder.html

I can warmly recomend it. A big part of the course is focused on how to deal with agressive behaviour from other kids. Our daughter attended the course and I believe it is a very good way for foreign kids to get a feeling for the Swiss "school yard" culture and where the limits are and how to react to it.

I am not affiliated with the company in any way.
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Old 28.04.2014, 17:03
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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Our kids school offered a course for 4.-6. graders through this company:

http://www.selbstsicherheit.ch/kinder.html

I can warmly recomend it. A big part of the course is focused on how to deal with agressive behaviour from other kids. Our daughter attended the course and I believe it is a very good way for foreign kids to get a feeling for the Swiss "school yard" culture and where the limits are and how to react to it.

I am not affiliated with the company in any way.
I find the fact that self defence classes in switzerland are hugely popular -- and that so many foreigners are advised to partake -- really interesting. Doesn't that say something? Is this the case in every country?
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Old 28.04.2014, 17:08
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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To be fair, though, you mention earlier in the thread that your experience is mainly of the Montessori system so it's probably difficult to compare such a system in the US to the run-of-the-mill and accept-all state system in a completely different country.

You mention that it is a HUGE cultural difference but I get the feeling because you and your son have found yourselves at the sharp end of a bout of bullying it has somehow magnified the differences in your eyes.
My son's sole experience is Montessori, so as a parent, this is my experience. As a person, I attended public schools in in the US and schools on US military bases in the US and the UK. Plus, I have a minor in early childhood education and have experience in various schools/children's programs from that line... again not as an actual parent though, so I will admit my view may be different than in other situations, especially after our previous experiences.

I do think, from a kid's perspective, going from a environment where hitting/etc isn't really tolerated to where its expected as a way to "find your place" in a group of friends, is a pretty huge leap, especially for a child.
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Old 28.04.2014, 17:10
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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Our kids school offered a course for 4.-6. graders through this company:

http://www.selbstsicherheit.ch/kinder.html

I can warmly recomend it. A big part of the course is focused on how to deal with agressive behaviour from other kids. Our daughter attended the course and I believe it is a very good way for foreign kids to get a feeling for the Swiss "school yard" culture and where the limits are and how to react to it.

I am not affiliated with the company in any way.
Yes, it is an awesome school. My son attended this course last fall. Right now, I'm looking for something more regular (e.g. weekly/monthly) to keep the concepts fresh in his mind, so he doesn't freeze and forget how to respond.
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Old 28.04.2014, 17:17
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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For much of the English-speaking world, schools have pretty much a zero tolerance on physical contact like pushing, shoving and very boisterous play. Hallways are monitored. A lot of time is spent making sure that children know that teasing is not allowed, that excluding others is mean, that racism is utterly forbidden, etc... Some form of pastoral care is expected by most parents, and nurturing is important. Rules are set out from day one, and they tend to be followed by entire districts. Some schools even have a code of conduct agreement signed by both parents and the child. The emphasis is on creating a comfortable and protected environment, where a child feels appreciated and can be an individual.
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Excellent. But how that is applied later on in life?

The much criticised Swiss system, paradoxically, produces less racist and more tolerant than in other places adults. Curious.
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Old 28.04.2014, 17:23
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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I find the fact that self defence classes in switzerland are hugely popular -- and that so many foreigners are advised to partake -- really interesting. Doesn't that say something? Is this the case in every country?
No. I find this thread quite interesting, too.. Diagnostic.
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Old 28.04.2014, 18:14
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

Well, it's not really that surprising actually. The basic lesson taught to every Swiss child from a very young age is "Selber schuld". Basically it teaches them that anything that goes wrong in life is preventable in some way and if you fail to prevent it, you are Selber schuld for the consequences you have to suffer.

So of course, you should also learn how to prevent yourself from being a victim of assault in the same way you know that if you don't fight for your right for your time-slot in the Washküche, you got noone else to blame but yourself if you lose it.

I find the Swiss mentality fascinating I must admit. It is so different to any other mentality I know if in so many ways and I really would like to know where this comes from. How can it be that Switzerland is so different from the other European cultures?


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I find the fact that self defence classes in switzerland are hugely popular -- and that so many foreigners are advised to partake -- really interesting. Doesn't that say something? Is this the case in every country?
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Old 28.04.2014, 18:34
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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The basic lesson taught to every Swiss child from a very young age is "Selber schuld". Basically it teaches them that anything that goes wrong in life is preventable in some way and if you fail to prevent it, you are Selber schuld for the consequences you have to suffer.
I have found this to be so true. The problem with this "it's your own fault" mentality is that sometimes it's not really "your own fault". When a kid is being bullied, is it really his/her fault? If a kid is being abused, is it really their own fault?

Quite frankly kids don't always have all the 'tools' necessary to work it out on their own. A family member of mine was abused for years at school (one of the top german speaking boarding schools). The "Selber schuld" mentality pushed him into drugs and ultimately overdosed.
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Old 28.04.2014, 18:44
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

Of course it is not always your own fault. I don't think though that the Selber schuld lesson is necessarily any worse than the "we shall overcome" lessons we are taught in the rest of the world. It is simply different and each system will have winners and losers.

The big challange is for those of us raised in one system and then having to live in another. Which is why I truly belive that my kids should learn the Swiss way as much as possible even though it goes against all my instincts. It will make their life here when they grow up so much easier.


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I have found this to be so true. The problem with this "it's your own fault" mentality is that sometimes it's not really "your own fault". When a kid is being bullied, is it really his/her fault? If a kid is being abused, is it really their own fault?

Quite frankly kids don't always have all the 'tools' necessary to work it out on their own. A family member of mine was abused for years at school (one of the top german speaking boarding schools). The "Selber schuld" mentality pushed him into drugs and ultimately overdosed.
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Old 28.04.2014, 18:57
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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I find the fact that self defence classes in switzerland are hugely popular -- and that so many foreigners are advised to partake -- really interesting. Doesn't that say something?
Not really to me, sorry. I mean I don't go through my adult life observing lots of outbreaks of self defence maneouvres as people react in the train station and on the pavement to being aggressively jostled by another passerby. I, nor my child have ever been advised to partake in self defence and we attended a small rural village school where we really were the only foreigners in the village. I do not recognise this massive cultural difference but also accept that our experience is very specific to where we are in the country and that other places will undoubtedly be quite different.

Incidentally I work in the preschool environment where we have all nationalities including Swiss and my observations tell me that no one nationality has the monopoly on aggression (nor tale telling and seeking teacher intervention) in the preschool pond.
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Old 28.04.2014, 19:08
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

Kids should be given a chance to primarily trust the world first, then learn how to defend themselves..the reversed order can result in primitives. Eye for an eye can save a few scratches and black eyes, for those who aren't capable of any other strategy. But in the long run, does not make people the happiest. Kind. Or cooperative. Knee jerk aggression, defensiveness, hostility...and expecting it. It's sad. Chips on shoulders that are hard to shake.

All those passive aggressive letters and reports to authorities, so popular here, rules sticklinging, don't show much independence, in positive conflict solving. Or a healthy compromise.

Lazy teaching does not make work of other, responsible teachers in any way easy. Kids need first support. So they learn how to support one another. Those who walk around, expecting punches first, ready to give it, are hard to teach (and would be sad to parent).
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Old 28.04.2014, 20:06
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Re: Aggression in Swiss Primary Schools - not bullying

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I do think, from a kid's perspective, going from a environment where hitting/etc isn't really tolerated to where its expected as a way to "find your place" in a group of friends, is a pretty huge leap, especially for a child.
Completely agree. some kids are just not aggressive (my son for example will shrivel up at he first sign of violence) therefore they become targets. he hates any kind of confrontation and is so shy that he cannot deal with it. martial arts are ok in a controlled environments but when it comes to the crunch he cannot deal with it. odd part is he's not a cry baby and will take all the abuse and not tell anyone and bottles it up - then has a melt down at home. IMO the school should take more responsibility.

i've tried getting him to be "rough" but its just not him - that shouldn't mean he should be a victim.

next tactic is to send him in loaded up on coca-cola like the other kids and let him go buzurk there.
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