Alternative ways to tackle aggression among children have been discussed at a Round Table in the National Assembly. The discussion entitled “Parents – conflicts – aggression and child protection” has been organised by the Committee on Children, Youth and Sports Matters.
At the opening of the Round Table, Slavcho Atanasov, Chair of the Committee on Children, Youth and Sports Matters, stressed that in order to outline concrete measures to tackle aggression among children, we should look into Bulgarian families, a main factor for its existence. In the past 20 years, most children have grown up without a value system, said Slavcho Atanasov. Our task is to work hard and in coordination with the Committee on Children, Youth and Sports Matters, the State Agency for Child Protection, and other institutions and NGOs in order to outline measures to tackle this pressing issue of our society.
Slavcho Atanasov reminded that this was the second event on the topic and stressed that representatives of all powers took part in the first discussion: legislative, executive and judicial. A working group has been set up to do a comprehensive analysis of the legislation on the topic and propose legislative and regulatory solutions, he added. In his words, with regard to tackling the problems with aggression among and against children, there is a full consensus and agreement in the efforts of the representatives of all political powers at the National Assembly. Our goal is to draft a package of legislative amendments by mid-December and approve them in Parliament, added the Chair of the Committee on Children, Youth and Sports Matters.
Chair of the State Agency for Child Protection Ophelia Kuneva emphasised that there were great expectations from the work of the participants at the Round Table and expressed her hope that the joint cooperation between representatives of the institutions and the NGO sector for the good of our children would bring about good results. She undertook the commitment to ensure the active participation of all experts from the agency in drafting concrete legislative proposals.
In his presentation entitled “Violence among children: causes and solutions”, psychologist Ivan Igov paid special attention to the preconditions for aggressive behaviour among schoolchildren. In his view, the discriminatory and outdated curricula and content, the unreformed school environment and the lack of qualified teachers and supporting experts are some of the reasons for the increased aggression among schoolchildren. The psychologist offered alternative solutions, such as more social and practical skills, introduction of concrete school policies and a new type of teachers who are better qualified and closer to the children.
A statement at the Round Table was also made by Children’s Council representative Yoana Zaharieva, who urged for seeking new solutions to tackle aggressive behaviour among children, as well as establishing a better dialogue between teachers and pupils.
Senior Assistant Professor Metodi Kolarov, PhD, from the New Bulgarian University, talked about cyberbullying against children. He emphasised that there was a high risk of long-term negative consequences as a result of this phenomenon. A really effective approach should involve teachers, pupils, parents, and the public, said Metodi Kolarov.
The discussion was attended by MPs from the Committee on Children, Youth and Sports Matters, representatives of institutions and NGOs.