Prior anti-bullying research indicates a need for earlier intervention, and shows a link to lower levels of cognitive empathy whether a child displayed bullying behaviors or was a victim of them. This sensitive issue is what Philippine Heart Center’s Clinical and Health Psychologist Nick Gomez Poblacion addressed during his Secular Humanist Advocacy Development and Education (SHADE) session on April 22, 2018, Sunday at 3PM.
SHADE is the educational arm of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI) that happens alongside a feeding program by Kids Nutrition Campaign every month. Since March 2018, HAPI Metro Manila Chapter has introduced new speakers to do brief but meaningful talks on top of the usual storytelling. Esteemed people like nurses, engineers and humanitarians have since expressed interest to promote scientific inquiry, child rights and overall well-being.
Taking another person’s perspective, and focusing on social and emotional growth in children at an early age are anti-bullying measures. The transition to another age group often requires children to negotiate new social hierarchies, social structures, friendships and numerous other changes. Focusing on cognitive empathy, friendship development and conflict resolution could help prevent bullying behavior. Such prevention would be valuable, as bullying has been shown to negatively affect learning outcomes as well.
Taking on the problem from the perspective of the bully, the victim and the school community is the design many psychologists follow when dealing with bullying cases. No longer kids being kids, bullying is harassment that can begin a trajectory of trouble for perpetrators. Victims can suffer physical and emotional pain with consequences extending into adulthood. Even those who aren’t directly involved in bullying are affected by it. An environment of distraction makes learning harder for everyone, having other professionals consider it a public health problem, rather than an individual experience.
Our monthly feeding programs have been instrumental in developing harmony and collaboration through collective nourishment and activity. It has created a culture of looking after others among our beneficiaries, contributing to a cohesive community. Abolishing needless divisions is one of our missions in the Philippines. As a true-blue humanist organization, HAPI helps those in need and promote empathy so as to unite all in one common family of humanity.
- HAPI Metro Manila Member
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- National Events Director
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Currently in between careers, he busies himself with anything that works for the good of humanity. Other than being a humanist, he is a realist, an art aficionado, a frugal foodie and a weary wanderer. He looks forward to working in the central government.