You may have noticed your child is showing some of the signs of being bullied, or you might discover they have been bullied in some other way.
The big question is how to stop bullying? The first recommended step is to try to get your child to open up about what's happening in their life by showing them that you understand, and won’t judge them.
Encourage your child to tell you the whole story. Listen calmly and without interrupting, and reassure them that they've done the right thing by speaking up. Your child may need to tell the story more than once.
Have a conversation about what happened. Try not to let your very understandable emotions (anger, distress...) show. Your feelings can intensify the child's or make it worse for them and might even deter your child from talking to you another time.
Remind your child that bullying is never OK, and that whatever they are feeling – e.g. hurt, scared, sad, angry – is understandable and normal.
Ask your child what they would like to happen. Often all they want to know is how to stop the bullying. Children may feel that if the perpetrator is punished, it will be worse for them in the long run.
Note what, when and where the bullying occurred, who was involved, how often and if anybody else witnessed it. Don't offer to confront the young person or their parents yourself. This might make things worse for your child.
Bullying arises from social situations - family, school, clubs, and work - and if possible, cases of bullying are best dealt with where they occur. In children's lives, school is the most common location for bullying. It's therefore important you alert the school to the situation, as they may not be aware of it.
Don't assume the school will know about the situation, because your child may not have told them. The majority of children and teenagers do not disclose to teachers or parents. Schools are keen to prevent and stop bullying behaviour.
Encourage your child not to get angry or aggressive in response to bullying, as this may make things worse. Help them explore other possibilities, including using neutral or (if appropriate) joking language (read about this technique called 'fogging'), acting bored or unimpressed, and identifying safe places, friendly groups of kids or caring staff members they can turn to.
While the definition of bullying is broad and can occur in a variety of environments, it usually is a relationship problem and requires relationship-based solutions.Read More >
There are many different types of bullying that can be experienced by children and adults alike.Read More >
Spot the different signs of bullying and some of the symptoms.Read More >
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