Family | What to do when your child is being bullied

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As a parent, having a suspicion or knowing your child is being bullied is stressful. Taking the right steps is important to helping your child as the experts on bully4you.ie suggest.

Every parent simply wants their offspring to have a happy and carefree childhood. Unfortunately, as continually reported in the media, bullying has become more prevalent in schools and clubs that children attend.

If you are suspicious that your child is being bullied, take heed of the warning signs. From physical bruises to lack of appetite, any change in your child’s physical or dietary habits should be a red flag. Avoiding friends, being withdrawn or moody are other indicators.

Communicate constantly with your child to try and source other information, while also reassuring them that you are there to listen. Are they getting on with their friends? How is school life going? Who do they spend their break with?

Asking such questions is a way to show your concern and willingness to help your child. It also gives you the opportunity to reiterate that bullying is unacceptable, and that there are ways to solve it. It is also just as important to state that bullying is not their fault and that it can happen to anyone.

Stay calm and avoid over or under-reacting – take the bullying seriously and take the steps to supporting and protecting your child. For example, contact the school and tell them the situation. If possible, ask the teacher or get an older pupil to keep an eye on them.

If it is outside of school grounds, you may need to contact your local Garda station.

There are many strategies that children can take when faced bullying, such as projecting confidence. All guidelines can be found here.