Supporting your child through bullying
November 14, 2022
Bullying is something that unfortunately affects a large number of children. If your child is experiencing bullying, it can be tough for you as a parent as well as your child.
It can be easy to feel angry or frustrated, but the most important thing is to stay calm and reassure your child that they are being listened to. Let them tell you what is happening and how they feel and reassure them that telling you was the correct thing to do. It may be a challenging time, but you are able to work together to improve things.
Give them space
Some children may feel embarrassed or ashamed about what is happening and struggle to open up about what they’re going through. They might worry about what will happen after they tell someone, so it can be helpful to give them space and time whilst ensuring that they know you’re there to support them. Additionally, suggesting that they can talk to someone else they trust such as a teacher or another family member if they prefer could make things easier for them.
Help build their confidence
As a result of bullying, some young people’s sense of self-worth and confidence may be affected. Finding things that they enjoy and are good at, are good ways of helping them to regain their self-worth and confidence. Starting a new activity or club can help to distract the young person, as well as provide them with an opportunity to learn a new skill or make new friends.
With increased use of mobile phones and social media comes an increase in cyberbullying. It may be necessary to explore the topics of online safety with your child and set clear boundaries around what is and isn’t appropriate use of the internet. Reporting/blocking users on social media platforms is generally quite straightforward and can be a useful thing for children to know if they regularly talk to their peers online. Although it can be difficult, it’s still necessary to respect your child’s privacy where possible, so communication is key in keeping children safe online.
Lastly, being proactive in trying to resolve the issue is especially important for your child. You can sit down with your child to come up with a plan of action – this may involve you, the young person, or both, speaking to their school to make them aware of the situation. It can be frustrating if a school does not take bullying seriously but finding their anti-bullying policy (normally on the school website) and having a conversation to ensure they are following it may be a good place to start. Make sure to keep your child updated and involved in the situation so that they’re aware that steps are being made to help them.
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