No-one deserves to be bullied. It is important to take bullying seriously and not just brush it off as something that young people have to “put up with.” Bullying is not ‘part of growing up’. It is not ‘kids being kids’ and is not an ‘unfortunate but unavoidable part of school life’.
Minimising a problem is not what caring adults do. Yes, young people can be spiteful but no caring adult should ever dismiss bullying as a “rite of passage” or tolerable fact of childhood. When they do, they violate a child’s trust and abdicate their role as a responsible adult. Bullying is cruel, unacceptable behaviour that can have a devastating effect on a person – full stop! The effects can be serious and affect a person’s sense of safety and self-worth. In severe cases, bullying has contributed to tragedies, such as self-harm and suicide.
Children are influenced by the home, community, and society they grow up in. They are influenced by the things they see, read, and hear, and the people around them. We all have a role to play in creating communities where children feel safe and valued, where we do not tolerate prejudice and are work together to ensure a zero tolerance to bullying behaviour.
Unfortunately, most children will experience an incident of bullying behaviour during their school years. This might be as the person who is bullied, they may display bullying behaviour towards others, they may witness others being bullied or they may take positive action to stop bullying behaviour.
Whatever way they may be involved in an incident of bullying behaviour, if your child has plucked up the courage to talk to you about it (and considering how hard it can be for children to talk to anyone about bullying behaviour, this is a very brave step), it is important to listen to them, take them seriously, consider the facts, and work with them on next steps.
As a parent, we understand that reaching out and asking for help is tough as you desperately hope to be able to protect your child on your own, but it is vital to work with the school to ensure what your child is going through is stopped and dealt with appropriately.
Download our Information Brochure for Parents/Carers here