Anti Bullying week - 16th November

How to I spot the signs that my child is being bullied?

You know your child best so will be aware if they seem out of sorts.  The type of behaviour that could be an indication of bullying include a reluctance to go to school; unexplained tummy upsets or headaches; showing signs of distress on a Sunday night or at the end of school holidays; becoming either quiet or withdrawn, or playing up; torn clothes and missing belongings; seeming upset after using their phone, tablets, computers etc and wanting to leave for school much earlier than necessary or returning home late.  Bullying can have am impact on a child's mental health so if your child is showing signs of serious distress - such as depresssion, anxiety and self harm always see a GP.

How can I help my child if they are being bullied?Parents

  • If your child is being bullied, don't panic. Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken.

  • Listen and reassure them that coming to you was the right thing to do. Try and establish the facts. It can be helpful to keep a diary of events to share with the school or college.

  • Assure them that the bullying is not their fault and that they have family that will support them. Reassure them that you will not take any action without discussing it with them first.

  • Don't encourage retaliation to bullying - such as violent actions. It's important for children to avoid hitting or punching an abusive peer. Reacting that way has negative and unpredictable results- they may be hurt even further, and find that they are labelled as the problem. Rather suggest that they walk away and seek help.

  • Find out what your child wants to happen next. Help to identify the choices open to them; the potential next steps to take; and the skills they may have to help solve the problems.

  • Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).

  • Discuss the situation with your child's teacher or Head teacher - or the lead adult wherever the bullying is taking place. Every child has a right to a safe environment in which to learn and play. Schools must have a behaviour policy which sets out the measures that will be taken to prevent all forms of bullying between pupils. For more information on making a complaint about bullying, visit Making a complaint

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