Talking to Your Child about Bullying

As mentioned in previous pages spotting the signs of bullying is not always easy. Children who are being bullied often feel a sense of fear that by telling someone could make the bullying worse as the bully maybe reprimanded and take this out on their victim. Actually digesting that your child is the victim of a bully can be one of the hardest parts for a parent as it can be very upsetting.

Talking about Bullying

Bullying is a huge concern for any parent especially when the child is starting school as possible bullies maybe present. It maybe an idea to talk to your child about aspects of bullying without actually using the word. Make them aware that unkind behaviour from other children is not acceptable and that a teacher or a parent should always be told of any nasty behaviour from another child. When children start primary school they are often young, aged 4-5 and may not understand the concept so talking to your child using language that is comprehendible to them will be very useful. Explain that nasty words and being pushed and shoved should not happen at school even that being left out of games and play is not acceptable. Talking to your child about bullying at a young age could put a stop to any bullying that may take place or put an end to it just as it starts. Making your child aware that unpleasantness is not right and that if it ever takes place then an adult should be told.

Finding out Your Child is being Bullied

Discovering that your child is being bullied can have a massive effect on a parent. Parents are often shocked that their child is being bullied even more so confused how this could have happened. Feeling angry and incredible upset that another child is deliberately hurting your child either mentally or physically can have a great bearing on a person but inorder to tackle the situation a parent must put their feelings aside as the most important person is the child suffering at the hands of a bully.

If you suspect or even know for a fact that your child is being bullied talking to them is key. Not all children who are being bullied find it easy to tell someone or express their feeling so it is vital that you sit down with your child, have patience and understanding and be able to listen to what they are saying. Asking outright the question of ‘are you being bullied’ may frighten the child or make them apprehensive as they maybe scared to tell or that they haven’t even thought of the situation as ‘being bullied’ instead asking a series of questions maybe more helpful i.e.

  • How was school today?
  • Did you play with your friends?
  • Were the games you played fun and did you enjoy them?
  • Would have you liked to play with different friends and different games?
  • Did you enjoy your lunch and what did you have to eat?
  • Are you looking forward to going to school tomorrow?

By asking such questions you can get a feel to how your child is feeling, if they show any hesitation to the questions or their answers are vague these maybe tell-tale signs that your child maybe getting bullied. Some children maybe relieved to be asked and tell you straight out how they are feeling.