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Is your child being bullied?

It can be very upsetting to learn that your child is being bullied, has seen bullying happening to other children or is perhaps even being a bully themselves.

There are many different forms of bullying, including:

  • Being teased, put down, humiliated or called names
  • Being pushed or pulled around, hit, kicked or physically hurt
  • Having money or possessions taken or damaged
  • Having rumours spread about you or being ignored and left out
  • Being bullied online or via your phone

If you think your child is being bullied, there are signs to look out for:

  • Shyness around other children
  • Trouble expressing their thoughts
  • Being anxious, fearful, becoming withdrawn or losing confidence
  • Not wanting to go to school
  • Suddenly not doing as well at school
  • Damaged clothing, possessions or unexplained bruises
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits

How you can help your child:

  • Encourage them to tell you what's happened and listen carefully without jumping to conclusions
  • Try to stay calm and not react strongly when they tell you what’s wrong, as this could stop them from sharing anything else in the future
  • Explain why and how bullying sometimes happens and reassure them that it’s not their fault
  • Reassure your child that you’ll work together to find the best solution and then practise it through roleplaying or writing it down
  • Praise your child for not only talking to you, but for coming up with a way to resolve the situation
  • At no point should you encourage your child to fight back, as often this can make matters worse
  • You should always inform the school of the situation, if you feel it’s appropriate

National support

The following organisations provide a range of useful information and advice:
Anti-Bullying Alliance: Interactive anti-bullying tool for parents

Bullying UK: Advice for parents
CBBC Lifebabble: All you need to know about tackling bullying
Kidscape: Provides advice, training and practical tools to prevent bullying

NSPCC: Bullying and cyberbullying