Let them know that you want to help and will do all you can to stop it. Be clear that for the bullying to stop, it will be necessary for their school to become involved. Encourage your child to talk about the bullying. It will help if they keep a journal in which they can write about the bullying and record when and where it happened. Click here to download a copy of our bullying diary.
Listen to your child in a non-judgmental way. Let them do the talking. Don’t try to solve the problem. Ask, “What happened? How did that make you feel?” to draw your child out. Try to find out more about the bully and what they have been doing to your child. Your child doesn’t need you to go ballistic or take on the problem as your own. Your child needs to know that he’s being heard and that his feelings matter. Once you’ve got the whole story, depending upon what’s happened, you can take your next step.
Your child may tell you that they want to try and deal with the bullying themselves. If the do, discuss some strategies with them and set a short period of time to see if they can resolve the situation. Tell your child that reporting the bullying is okay and reassure them that it is not their fault.
Encourage your child to:
Practise some strategies at home with your child to help them to:
A confident, positive and resilient appearance can stop bullying from continuing.
Discuss what doesn’t work with bullying:
*Do not encourage your child to fight back with the other child. Fighting with the other child can escalate the situation and your child may be reprimanded for their part in a fight.
Make an appointment to see your child’s teacher as soon as possible and explain what has been happening.
Remember that coping with something like bullying is very stressful. Try and take time for yourself and talk things over with a friend or member of your family.