Bullying has a long-lasting effect on those who experience and witness it. But by channelling our collective power, through shared efforts and shared ambitions, we can reduce bullying together.
1. Know the signs
Look out for any changes in behaviour – for example becoming quieter or withdrawn or acting up and getting in trouble. You may notice they’re reluctant to go to school or take part in their usual activities, or they may become upset after using their phones or devices, or complain of frequent unexplained illnesses like tummy upsets or headaches. You may find they aren’t sleeping properly, or show signs of sadness or anxiety. If these tell-tale signs become apparent, its time to talk and find out what’s troubling them.
2. Know when to step in
Your child will not get on with everyone. They may be on the receiving end of name calling or negative comments, occasionally they could feel left out or alone. They’ll make friends and lose friends. They’re likely to have arguments and disputes. All of these experiences are normal and an important part of childhood development, but when these upsets are repeated and intentional, and your child is being picked on by an individual or group in a position of power, it’s bullying and it needs to stop.
If your child has been seriously harmed or is at risk of serious harm, then this is an urgent safeguarding issue and you should seek immediate help and call 999 or your local children’s services team.
3. Work with your child’s school
If your child is being bullied, it’s important you speak to the school about it as soon as you can. Schools have a legal duty to prevent bullying and harassment. Most schools will have an anti-bullying policy, or their approach to preventing and responding to bullying will be included in their behaviour policy. This is often available on the school website and if not, your child’s school must provide you with a copy by law.
4. Talk about bullying
Anti-Bullying Week is a great opportunity to start a conversation in your household on bullying and consider the steps you can take together if it happens.
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