In a recent study, 49% of children in between 4th and 12th grade admitted to being bullied at some point during their school career. The childhood years are hard enough, but when bullying comes into play, it can make life seem lonely and unbearable for some children. For that reason, the Buddy Bench was invented. Buddy Benches are benches that are placed strategically in schoolyards or playgrounds to encourage friendship and understanding.
What Is a Buddy Bench?
A Buddy Bench looks just like an ordinary bench, but they are sometimes painted in bright, fun colors. Depending on the bench, there could be a sign or a plaque designating that specific bench as a Buddy Bench. During school hours, if a student feels lonely, needs someone to talk to, or simply needs a friend to play with, they sit on the Buddy Bench. Peers will then see that there is someone in need and act accordingly. They may sit next to their new friend on the Buddy Bench or invite them to play at recess. While it may seem like a simple concept, it’s changing lives around the country. Do you think a Buddy Bench could benefit the children at your school? Here are 4 reasons you might want to consider buying one of these life changing benches.
It Benefits the Struggling Child
There could be a number of reasons for a child to struggle during their time at school. For some, problems at home spill over into their school day, causing them to feel unloved or overwhelmed. Others may feel lonely or excluded by their peers. Some children may not know how to interact with other kids. The Buddy Bench solves these problems and benefits any child who may be struggling. It gives them the chance to voice their problems, find a new friend, or feel noticed.
It Teaches Empathy
The Buddy Bench doesn’t solely benefit the lonely child. It also teaches empathy to others, benefiting the entire school. If a child sees one of their peers sitting on the Buddy Bench, they’re given the opportunity to act. They’re helping someone in need and making a classmate feel loved and needed. On top of that, they’re learning leadership skills, social skills, and developing a sense of empathy that will last them a lifetime.
For a child, it can be extremely difficult to reach out for help when it’s needed. Whether they’re struggling with a particular problem or simply need a shoulder to cry on, the Buddy Bench teaches kids that it’s okay to reach out when times get rough. The healthy coping mechanisms that are taught by the Buddy Bench are invaluable. It’s a subtle reminder that there are plenty of productive strategies available to help children deal with their problems, no matter what they might be.
Uniting a School
Another reason to install a Buddy Bench is because it unites the school in one common goal — to ensure that each student has the support they need. Once installed, the concept of the Buddy Bench is taught to the students. Soon, there is less contention both inside the classroom and on the playground.
There are so many great reasons to think about installing a Buddy Bench. For schools who have dealt with bullying and schools that just want to help their students develop deeper friendships and bonds, a Buddy Bench is the perfect way to bring your group together. Outdoor School Furniture has a wide variety of benches for you to choose from. Learn more about the Buddy Bench concept and pick out a model that suits your school today!