Your first reaction might be disbelief that your well-behaved son or daughter is being accused of bullying.
You can expect them to deny it.
But before you dismiss the thought out of hand, listen to what the school has to say about it. Parents rarely complain to a school at the outset of bullying, there's usually been a history of unhappiness. Sometimes the target has had to take time off school through fear and may be suffering such distress that they need to see a doctor.
You need to take what the school says seriously and work with staff on a solution. There are times when people are unjustly accused of being bullies but a thorough investigation should reveal this.
Our good friend, the late Tim Field, and Neil Marr have written an excellent book called Bullycide - Death at Playtime
Which explains the circumstances in which a number of bullied pupils have killed themselves.
You can find out more about this book at www.successunlimited.co.uk/books/bullycid.htm. You can also see the names and details of children who have killed themselves due to bullying on www.successunlimited.co.uk/bullycide/cases.htm
Some things to...
Bullying UK receives thousands of emails a year from young people, many of them feeling very distressed and powerless to put a stop to bullying.
Some of them have told us how bullying makes them feel:"She has taken all my friends away and I go home at night and I'm depressed and cry" - girl aged 13
"One time I wouldn't eat because of people calling me 'fat' - boy aged 14
"Mondays were worst because I had to face the bully again and I soon got so worried it made me ill" - teenage girl
"I feel lonely and I want some advice about how to feel better about myself, going to school" - girl aged 15
"I feel like killing myself, it...
Try to explain that bullying is behaving in a way that upsets someone and that this can affect other children so badly that they don't want to go to school.
If the bullying involves physical abuse like hitting or kicking, recall a time when your child was upset because they were hurt and explain that this is how someone else feels when they are attacked.
Ask your child how he/she would feel if someone was behaving like this to him/her and what he/she would want to have done about it.
How to deal with a complaint about a younger child
- Tell your child calmly what they are accused of and ask for an explanation
- Ask the head teacher if your...
By the time a pupil is at secondary school he/she will know perfectly well that bullying is wrong.
There have been many cases where teenagers have killed themselves due to bullying and no doubt the bullies never thought this would be the consequence of their behaviour.
You can tell your teenager that Bullying UK gets hundreds of emails a month and a surprising proportion of these are from secondary school pupils who say they are suicidal now or have been in the past.
Some have been cutting themselves due to their distress. Others are receiving psychiatric and psychological help. Many of them are too frightened to go to school and some have been removed from school by their parents...
Around 16 children in the UK kill themselves every year due to distress over bullying.
Their schools often say they had no idea what was going on. But the bullies know exactly what they've been doing - and so do their friends. It's too late to have regrets when someone has died, or been made so ill they need medical treatment.
This section provides help for parents who are worried that their child is a bully.
You're a bully if you do any of these things to someone else
- You call them names
- You make up stories to get them into trouble
- You take their friends away leaving them on their own
Is your child a bully?
Visit us on your mobile at m.bullying.co.uk