Research published today (14 August) by Action for Children Scotland, has highlighted that school bullying is one of the biggest concerns for parents as their children return to school.
Responding to the research findings, Katie Rafferty, Director of respectme Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service, said:
“The start of the new school year can be a stressful time for children, young people and parents alike. Bullying behaviour can leave parents feeling anxious, out of their depth, and unsure of what to do or where to turn to help their child.
“There isn’t one, single solution to addressing bullying but adults can make a huge difference in children’s lives by helping them regain their voice and choose for themselves how they want to respond to bullying behaviour.
“respectme has a range of resources available for children and young people and parents and carers, which provide practical advice and guidance for dealing with bullying behaviour.”
For parents and carers who are trying to support a child who is being bullied, here are some top tips to bear in mind:
Don’t panic! Remaining calm supports good listening and is reassuring for your child.
Give your full attention. This is reassuring and shows you are taking them seriously. Explain the reasons for your concern. Feeding back sensitively what you have noticed can help your child to see more clearly how bullying is impacting on them.
Talk to them about where they go online. Establish a clear understanding of the sites they use and how they access them.
What do they want you to do? Exploring this will make your child feel valued and will help you to understand what support they need.
Keep Listening! If they are reluctant to talk straight away, remind them that you are always available to listen and they can talk to you at any time. And remember that the impacts of bullying can last, even when the behaviour has stopped.