If your child is being bullied or you think they might be, here are some tips on how to talk to them and prevent further bullying.
If your child is being bullied, don't panic. Explain to your child that the bullying is not their fault and together you will sort this out.
Bullying is never acceptable; and should always be taken seriously. It is never your child's fault if they've been bullied.
Try and establish the facts. It can be helpful to keep a diary of events. If the bullying is online, save or copy images and text.
Find out what your child wants to happen. Help to identify steps you can take; and the skills they have to help sort out the situation. Make sure you always keep them informed about any actions you decide to take.
You may be tempted to tell your child to retaliate but this can have unpredictable results. Your child might get into trouble or get even more hurt. Rather - role play non-violent ways they can respond to children that are bullying them (e.g. "I don't like it when you say that to me / do that to me. Stop."); show them how to block or unfriend people if the bullying is online and help them identify other friends or adults that can support them.
Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).
Get some advice
There are many organisations that can give you some advice. Contact them if you are worried about bullying and want to talk to someone
Click here to access the anti-bullying alliance free anti-bullying online information tool.