Educational psychologist writes book, The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids, which deals with bullying

Jo Hamilton's first book, The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids, has seen much success since its launch on 2 March at Kingsmead College.


Educational psychologist Jo Hamilton has written her first book, a hands-on guide for youngsters to help them resist and avoid bullying.

The Ultimate Assertiveness Toolbox for Kids was launched at Kingsmead College and was received with much success. “It’s been a lovely response. A parent called me recently and expressed how excited she is that teachers have access to it. She really wants to get the teachers involved,” Hamilton said.

She created assertiveness workshops for children some years ago after talking to an educational psychologist, Dereck Jackson. “We spoke about how children need to be more assertive and that conversation resonated with me,” Hamilton explained. “I started doing research and from there, I created these programmes. I did that for five years.”

Read Say ‘NO’ to bullying

With that experience and knowledge, Hamilton wanted to share these tools with others. One year ago, she decided to dive into the world of writing. “The challenge was learning the process of writing and the decision-making behind publishing a book. “It was out of my comfort zone but very exciting.”

The guide aims to help children develop assertiveness, foster independence and boost self-confidence. “I think there are a lot of self-help books for adults but not for children. I’ve written this as a practical tool for them to use and I will continue writing.”

The book also addresses cyber-bullying. With access to various social platforms, bullying can follow children online. “Technology has added a new dimension to bullying,” she warned. “Even in the days of Mxit, it was there and all it has done is moved to Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Snapchat. Children under 12 are too young to handle it. They get lost in group mentality in group chats.”

Read Countering bullies in the workplace

As a serious advocate for children, she hopes her book will also teach them about the risks of sharing personal information online. “Take as long as you can before you give your child a phone but don’t exclude them either,” she said. “Teach them about the risks of technology. It can get out of hand quickly and they don’t always realise the consequences of sharing photographs and information.”

As an experienced professional and a parent of two, Hamilton is proud of the guide she has created and hopes it can make a difference. “I think it was the right time to start writing and when I held the book in my hands for the first time, I can’t tell you what it was like. I’m very proud of it and with it, I’m trying to create a community where we all stand together.”

In what ways have you taught your child to deal with bullying? Share your stories with us on WhatsApp 079 439 5345.


Nikita Fernandes

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