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What is the role of a parent when it comes to bullying?

This week is anti-bullying week, and with the statistics showing an ever-increasing prevalence of bullying, both in the school playground and online, we thought we would focus on what you can do to help your child.

Finding out that your child has been bullied at school is an extremely stressful time, and not being able to fix it right then and there can cause all amounts of anxiety and frustration. In order to be the best support for your child it is vital that you work together with the school, keep in constant communication with them and familiarise yourself with their Anti-Bullying Policy – of which all schools will have one of.

Your child needs you during this time, so do make sure you take care of yourself too. Seek support from friends and family, speak to a professional, such as a Counsellor or Psychologist, and try to really get down to basics with your child regarding what it is they are experiencing. Normalising their experience and allowing them the space to speak and feel listened to will help them through the process of coming to terms with what is happening to them. This in turn will help to re-build their self-esteem and confidence.

According to the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign website, bullying is the main reason why children under the age of 11 contact Childline, 36% of young people aged 8 – 22 are worried about being bullied and 38% of children believe that their school, college or university does not take bullying seriously. These stats highlight the need for support that parents should be giving their children when faced with these circumstances.

Take a moment this week to really listen to what your children are saying, no matter their age. Understand that whilst you may not be able to stop the bullying immediately, you can put the right steps in place to support them and you during this time. This year’s theme for Anti-Bullying week is “Choose Respect”. If we choose respect for ourselves and teach/show our children how to respect themselves, perhaps in time these terrifying statistics will come down and our world, both off and online will be a better place.