Dealing with bullying - top tips for parents.

Parenting NI

It can be really distressing to discover that your child is being bullied. No parent likes to think their child will be bullied, but sadly, many children do experience bullying in their lifetime. If you do find yourself dealing with your child being bullied there are things you can do to help.

Listen and reassure

Put your own feelings aside and listen to what your child is telling you when talking about bullying. Allow them to explain what is happening and accept what they are saying. Praise your child for telling you and let them know they did the right thing getting help. Make sure your child knows this isn’t their fault, and reassure them that they are loved and valued.

Find out the facts 

Repeat  back to them what you have heard from them about the bullying to show you have listened and ask your child how they want to move forward. If they feel involved in deciding what to do they will be less likely to become more stressed or anxious than they already are.

Stay calm

Try to remain calm and not over-react. Your child may be really worried about telling you they are being bullied and could be scared that your reaction will make things worse.

Talk to your child's school or club

Schools have a responsibility to protect pupils from bullying. Talk to them whether it’s happening in or out of school. If the bullying is happening at a youth club, speak to the leader in charge. Arrange a meeting, bring any evidence you have of the bullying and express the impact it’s having on your child. You might want to jot down notes from what is said at the meeting. Ask for a copy of the school’s Anti-Bullying policy and ask what action will be taken making sure everyone is in agreement with what should be done. Arrange to meet again to be updated of any progress.

Line of contact

If the bullying continues and you are not happy with the schools response from either the child’s teacher or principal you can write to the Chair of the schools Board of Governors. If the situation still continues you can write a formal complaint to the Education & Library Board or CMS Board.

If your child is the bully

If your child is being accused of bullying you may be in disbelief but listen to what the other parent or teacher has to say. Talk to your child about the seriousness of this, explain the consequences that bullying can have to your child and agree a plan for acceptable behaviour.

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