No parent likes to think about their child being bullied or, even worse, being a bully but the fact is, more than half of all children are involved – either as a perpetrator, victim or witness. So, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with it at some point. If your child is being bullied, please see our do's and dont's.
- "Listen without getting angry or upset," says Sandra Hiller, Family Lives. "Put your own feelings aside, sit down and actually listen to what your child is telling you – then show you have done so by ‘playing back’ to them what you hear. Ask your child: "How do you want me to take this forward?" rather than just...
Parents talk about how they helped their child deal with bullying "I made sure I collected all the facts before approaching the school," says Sue Jones, 48, from Sussex, whose son Matthew, now 16, was bullied from the age of 13 to 15. "For ages, the school denied there was a bullying problem so, when ‘incidents’ occurred in the classroom, I verified what had happened with friend’s children who were in the same class to let the school know there were witnesses."
"It might sound dramatic but I bought my daughter an attack alarm," says Maria Casey, 42, from Liverpool, mum to Sarah, 16 and Kieran, 11. "She had no problems at school but was being picked on by a few girls in the...
Read our article to find out how you can support your child "Encourage your child to try to appear confident - even if they don’t feel it," says Sue Atkins, former deputy head and parenting coach. Body language and tone of voice speak volumes so using a timid voice and cowering as you enter a room is similar to acting like a tourist in a tourist area - you may as well have a target painted on your back.
Come up with some practical strategies for your child (see below). Sometimes people say nasty things because they want a certain reaction or to cause upset, so if your child gives them the impression they’re not bothered, the bullies are more likely to stop. Role-play bullying scenarios and practice your...
A useful quiz to test your knowledge about children's safety
Quiz: Safe or Unsafe?
1. Which of these are signs that a child is being abused?
a) sudden weight loss
b) bruises or burns in unusual places
c) appearing over dressed
Signs to watch out for if you think your child may be being bullied... It can be difficult to know if your child is involved in bullying. Some children may hide their feelings and may be reluctant to tell anyone. Other children may have difficulties communicating what is happening to them. Some children with social or communication difficulties may not realise they are being bullied.
“My son has been bullied on school...
Bullying can take place anywhere; in schools, in the wider community and in the online community.
“He looked really fed up and was quieter than usual. He felt sick on a Monday morning which I think was anxiety. I knew something wasn’t quite right.”
The Anti-Bullying Alliance, which is a network of organisations working together to reduce bullying, defines bullying as:
“People doing nasty or unkind things to you on purpose, more than once, which it is difficult to stop.”
The Department for Children, Schools and Families Safe to Learn guidance defines bullying as:
‘Behaviour by an individual or group usually repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another...
Learn more about the advice and support Parentline Plus can offer. Parentline Plus help for families affected by bullying focuses on giving parents like Sandra the necessary ‘tools’ they need to help manage their own children’s behaviour. By helping parents to imagine themselves as a ‘toolbox’, they are encouraged to evaluate each situation differently and to work out when to take out different tools and skills when they are needed most.
“Often parents come to Parentline Plus when they feel they have nowhere else to go,” says Parentline Plus support co-ordinator Sara Hassell. “They often feel they are stuck in a rut and may feel angry towards their child for the way they are...
How bullying can affect children with disabilities The impact of bullying on disabled children may be different to the impact of bullying on other children. This is because their condition may be reinforced or worsened by the bullying.
For example a child with a social communication disorder may already be reluctant to mix in social situations but because of bullying they’ve experienced they withdraw further. This may mean they lose the opportunity to develop their social skills and therefore feel less confident in social situations which then exacerbates the problem.
Some of the parents spoke of the effects the bullying had on their children:
“She struggles with friendships and sustaining friendships....
Children may find it hard to talk about bullying, read on for advice on how to discuss the subject... Because of his or her disability, your child may be bullying, be bullied or react violently to other people’s reactions.
“I got a call from the head. The other parents had complained that my son had threatened their children. The head had tried to explain to them that he was autistic but the parents said that their children were no longer allowed to play with him in case he threatened them again.”
“My child dealt with bullying by swearing at them. The school responded by punishing him – not for standing up to the bullies but for swearing.”
Some children may find it hard to talk...
Brothers, sisters and other family members can be affected too...
“She came home in tears saying they’d been saying various things out loud – that’s her with the spaz brother.”
“Her brother was bullied at school. Sometimes she was also bullied – you know how rumours are spread, things he’d done in the past. On one hand she felt so protective, so defensive of her sibling. On the other huge resentment – he was causing her to get this grief which was out of her control.”
They stressed the importance of talking about the situation within the family and also getting outside help to deal with the bullying,...
General Parent Tips
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