Friends are very important to children. they thrive when they have supportive friendships and can be lonely and unhappy when things go wrong.
There are many reasons why a child may be picked on or be aggressive or unkind to others. Your children need you to help them learn how to make friends, to be a listening ear and to take appropriate action to help stop bullying.
Bullying is a serious problem which undermines young people's confidence and sense of self-worth.
What Counts as Bullying?
- It can include hitting and threats, harsh or insulting words (written, sent by email, text or spoken), enforced silence, spreading rumours, stealing or damaging possessions.
- Bullying often includes picking on people for being different (race, religion, disability, sexuality or family problems)
- Bullying can happen within friendship groups and may be seen as 'punishment' for doing something wrong.
- Unhappy children are more likely to bet bullied, and are also more likely to bully others.
HOW CAN YOU HELP
- Encourage them to invite friends round
- Help them find ways to make friends, such as joining things
- Try not to criticise their friends
- Talk about any worries
- Listen to their point of view
Notice Signs of Unhappiness, such as:
- Unwillingness to go to school
- Losing money or possessions
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Sudden changes in who they spend time with
Boost Confidence & Self-Esteem
- Praise them, even for small, everyday things
- Let them know you enjoy their company
- Show you're impressed and pleased when they do well
- Be interested in what they think and do
If Your Child Is Being Bullied
- Make it clear it's not their fault
- Let them know it's good to tell you
- Reassure them you can help
- Discuss ways to handle it
- Talk to the school and make sure you know how they are dealing with it
If Your Child Is Bullying Others
- Try and find out why
- Let them know you love them, though not the bullying
- Talk about feelings, not the detail of who did what
- Help them to say sorry and mean it
- Help them accept the consequences of what they've done
WHETHER YOUR CHILD IS BULLYING OR BEING BULLIED
- Show you care that they are unhappy
- Talk to school and other parents
- Be confident about taking action - they need your help
- Aim to change behaviour and feelings, not look for blame