As a parent/ carer, we have a natural inbuilt desire to protect our children from harm & upset.
Once our children go off to school and develop friendship groups, they may have to cope with challenges that are not yet equipped to deal with.
Your child may not feel they share their concerns or ask for help when bullying is involved because they might feel at fault or worried about ‘snitching’ on another child.
How do I know if my youngster is being bullied?
Look out for:
• Changes in behaviour, moody, tearful, anger
• Refusal to go to school, maybe faking illness
• Unexplained cuts, scratches or bruises
• Difficulty sleeping, bed wetting
• Negative self talk, “I’m stupid, no one likes me”
Discuss the different forms of bullying
You know your child better than anyone, if you notice any unexplained changes have a quiet word with your child. Discuss with them the forms bullying can take.
Name-calling, embarrassing/ humiliating them, physical & on-line bullying.
Give them your undivided attention, allow them time to talk, if they are unwilling to do so, schedule in another quiet time with them and be sure to let them know that you are there for them. Assure them that whatever they tell you is ok and together you can work it out.
Be careful not to jump to conclusions
Your child may have another reason for their change in behaviour, for instance:
• House move
• Another member of family or pet unwell/unhappy
• Family bereavement
• Recently watched TV/ film which may have upset them
Your youngster may be reacting to something seemingly minor that needs addressing.
Finally, remember to be calm and understanding, listen to what your child is saying and never assume you know how they feel.