Bullying is a term used more frequently these days. Bullying is not always easy to define, but as it is harmful to everyone involved we believe that bullying is made up of actions that:-
- Are repetitive, wilful or persistent
- Are intentionally harmful, carried out by a group or by individuals
- Create an imbalance of power which leaves a victim feeling defenceless
Actions that are considered to be bullying include:-
Physical actions such as pushing, kicking, hitting, pinching, threats or damage to belongings.
Verbal actions such as deliberately and frequently excluding children from social activities, ridiculing, humiliating and tormenting
Racist actions such as gestures, taunts and graffiti.
Unwanted physical contact or abusive comments of a sexual nature.
Bullying is not a fall out between children or an argument over a game of football.
What to do if your child has been bullied.
- Calmly talk with your child about what has happened to them. This may need to be at a time after they have initially told you, as they may be too upset to explain themselves clearly.
- Make a note of what your child says including who was involved, where and when it happened, what actually happened and how often it has happened.
- Reassure your child that they have done the right thing in talking to you about this and that they are not alone in dealing with it.
- Explain to your child that they should report any other events to an adult in school immediately.
- See your child’s teacher and explain what your child has told you, including any other times this may have happened and any other issues these children might have had with each other in the past.
What to do if your child is bullying other children:
Children sometimes bully others if they do not know that what they are doing is wrong, if they are copying others, if they haven’t learnt better ways to mix with children, if their friends encourage them to or if they are going through a difficult time and they are acting out aggressive feelings. To help you can:
- Explain to your child that what they are doing is unacceptable and makes others unhappy.
- Show your child how to join in with others without bullying.
- Discourage other members of your family from using aggression or force to get what they want.
- Give your child lots of praise and encouragement when they are co-operative and kind.