HOW TO DEAL WITH BULLYING
Children can go to great lengths to hide the fact that they are being bullied. They may do this because they are embarrassed or believe if they tell someone the situation will only get worse.
So how can you tell if your child is being bullied? Look for changes in behaviour.
Spotting the signs of bullying:
- Increase in aggressive behaviours or bullying of siblings
- Unexplained injuries
- Increase in physical ailments like headaches or stomach aches, or pretending to be sick so they can stay home from school
- Lost or destroyed property
- Nightmares or sleep disturbances
- Feelings of helplessness or low self-esteem
- School avoidance or lack of interest in school work
- Drop in academic performance
- Reduced social contact with friends or loss of friendships
Taking action against bullying:
- Find out as much as you can about the situation
- Reassure your child that this is not their fault
- Contact the preschool or school and ask to see the bullying policy
- Ensure regular follow-up meetings until you have reached a positive resolution
- Get your child involved in activities that encourage independence, assertiveness and healthy peer relationships (e.g., sporting teams, cubs or scouts, dance, drama club)
Encourage your child to behave assertively in threatening situations.
HOW TO DEAL WITH BULLIES
Victims of bullying rarely feel as though they are able to stop it themselves.
Children who are witnesses to bullying are referred to as bystanders. Bystanders have three main roles, they can:
- Assist and encourage the bully (bully assistant)
- Passively watch the bullying (witnesses)
- Actively intervene to support the victim and try to stop the bullying (defenders). If you have any particular questions, please ask Dr Cathrine and she will personally answer any concerns you have.