Anti-Bullying Week: how to help a child being bullied
What is anti-bullying week?
Anti-Bullying Week (UK) is an annual event that aims to raise awareness around bullying of children and young people and runs from 13th to 17th November.
The theme this year is ‘Make a noise about bullying’, highlighting the need for us to talk more openly and speak out about bullying and the hurt this can cause.
In the modern age, it is becoming more and more common for our children and young people to experience bullying online. In this blog, we explore tips, advice and guidance on how to support a child experiencing bullying and cyber bullying, along with the things you can do to prevent it.
What is cyber bullying?
Bullying, in itself, refers to someone experiencing unwanted and intentionally hurtful behaviour. This can include verbal, physical and emotional actions, and can take place at school, at home and online.
Cyber bullying relates to bullying online, and can occur over the phone, through messaging apps, social media, and forums to name a few, which makes it more difficult for children and young people to avoid.
Top tips on how to help a child being bullied
It can sometimes be difficult to know what to do when you suspect that your child is experiencing bullying. We asked Parenting Lead Nicola Baldwin at Spurgeons to share some tips and strategies that can help.
1) Talk about friends
Talking regularly with children from a young age about ‘what makes a good friend and what doesn’t’ can help them to understand what constitutes bullying. It can also enable them to spot when bullying is occurring to others around them and online.
2) Empower them
If your child is experiencing bullying, either at school, or online, give them the opportunity to explore solutions with you. ‘Ask them to explain what has been happening, and if anyone else has seen.’ If they do not have the confidence to stand up for themselves, a good friend could help.
3) Take away self-blame
It’s important to enable your child to recognise that their experience, either at school or online is not their fault, and although it may feel personal or make them feel bad, it is not their decisions or actions that have caused it.
4) Dealing with bullying at school
Whether your child has experienced bullying on the playground, or from children they know from school while being online, it’s a good idea to ask them whether they could tell a friend what has been happening, and a teacher.
It is a good idea to inform the school yourself, too, and to check their anti-bullying policy.
5) Record it
Ask your child to make a note of what happens or save harmful messages, whether via text or online. It is good to keep a log of when issues occur and who is involved. This will make details more accurate and can be used as evidence when explaining to the school.
6) When you are concerned about your child’s friendships
Sometimes, we may be concerned about a friendship that our child has, and a constructive way to approach this, would be to talk it through with them. A good place to start would be to ask them whether they feel comfortable saying no to their friend. If they don’t, this could indicate that they do not feel that they can be themselves, or have their opinions and views listened to.
7) Encourage finding good friends
It can at times be challenging for children and young people, especially teenagers, to figure out who their good friends are. It is important that your child feels that they can be themselves around their friends, and this can often be a true test of a good friendship.