Every parent needs to know about bullying – preparing them so that they don’t and dealing with the bullying should it start. The 10 things I have listed are a start.

  • Children with a healthy self-esteem do not usually get bullied so praise and recognising your child’s achievements.
  • Keep the lines of communication open between you and your child.
  • Listen to how your child interacts with their peers and take an interest who they are mixing with so you can see the dynamics of their group and if they are vulnerable.
  • Educate your child about the reason children bully other children.
  • If you think your child is being bullied speak to a teacher who knows your child well, who will listen and be effective in resolving the situation.
  • Don’t teach your child to bully back
  • Know the signs of a child that is bullied.
  • Know the signs of a child that is bullying others.
  • Know what the bullying policy is in school.
  • Learn about online bullying as children are often bullied in this way regardless of whether they are being bullied in person. Speak to your child about cyber bullying before they start going onto social networking sites.

What else do you think you should know about bullies and bullying so you are ahead of the game? Would you like to add anything else to my list?

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18 Responses to 10 things a parent should know about bullying

  1. Very useful info. I have school aged children and hadn’t really thought about bullying. Thanks for the article. I especially liked the first point about praising and encouraging your child. Spot on!

  2. Emma Lack says:

    Follow up a report to a teacher .. find out how it has been dealt with. I learnt this the hard way after reporting an attack on my son to his class teacher and then discovering that she had failed to address it when she spoke to both boys, the other boy’s mother and even the headmistress. Stand firm and follow up everything….

    Your list is fantastic, thank you for highlighting what to do xx

  3. Naomi Richards says:

    Kofo thank you for your lovely comment. I think all parents need to be aware of bullying as it is so rife. It may not be your child who is the bully or being bullied but I guarantee they will know someone.

  4. Naomi Richards says:

    Emma very true. We need to make sure the school are doing what they say they will when it comes to bullying. It is hard when it is not happening in our environment. Thank you for your compliment and for commenting.

  5. This is a subject very close to my heart. I wish there would have been support like this when our son was being bullied. Because our school gave us very little support, even after weekly visits during the school year, we spent years and so much money for Psychologists to make sure our son would regain his self esteem. There were some highs, but mostly lows. It’s been a long haul, but today he has 2 jobs, an internship, taking 16 credit hours and will graduate from Columbia College this May. Their is hope no matter how many years you end up struggling with this horrible problem. We couldn’t be prouder of our son.

  6. Naomi, I have found through my work with children that kids who bully have many of the same insecurities, low self esteem and self confidence as those that are bullied. Instead of internalizing their feelings like the bullied, the bully acts outs against those they most identify with, those as vulnerable as themselves, the bullied.

  7. Jill Hope says:

    Hi Naomi,

    I think everything you’ve included here is very important! That said, I would put a big yellow highlighter over the first one. If parents only did one thing, and that one thing was to build up a strong inner foundation in their child, that would be enough.

    All of the stuff on the outside (dealing with teachers, speaking with the parents of the bully, etc.), while important and necessary when you are in the midst of a bullying situation, only put a bandaid on the situation, rather than resolving the root cause. This leaves the child open for future problems, even in their adult life.

    A strong foundation of self-worth and inner confidence can eliminate a victim mentality and prevent bullying from ever occurring in the first place, and that can pave the way for healthy choices and supportive relationships in the future.

    This is such an important issue….thank you for opening this discussion, Naomi!

  8. Naomi Richards says:

    Lori what a sad experience – all those years of trying to give him healthy self-esteem. Unfortunately a child who is being bullied can carry it with him for the rest of his life. I am pleased to hear he is now doing great. Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Naomi Richards says:

    Kim you are so right. There are great similarities. We can do what we can to help our child not to bully or to stand up to the bullies. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Naomi Richards says:

    Jill thank you for your lovely comment. Bullying is constantly being talked about because it is such a big issue. I hoped with this blog it would remind parents how they can help their child. The first point I made is very important I agree.

  11. I have been conducting a class with 6th and 7th graders on precisely this subject. The most important thing being to build your own self esteem and feel stronger about yourself. I like to use the analogy of a see-saw when it comes to the impact of self esteem on friendships.

  12. Naomi Richards says:

    Maullika thank you for your comment. I think the analogy of a see-saw is an interesting one when it comes to self-esteem and friendships. But not all friendships are equal. The most important thing is children feel strong and like and accept who they are.

  13. Libby says:

    Its such as common problem as the amount of previous comments shows. Thank you for this article, Im going to share with some parents later. Their child is bullied because he stammers.My own secondary school was a hotbed of bullying…the girls were worse than the boys!

  14. Naomi says:

    Thank you Libby – yes share what you can. I see too many children who are being bullied – many who have been forced to leave the school they attended.

  15. Jen says:

    My son went through awful hazing/bullying twice for 1-2 months each before I realized that was considered normal there and moved away. I wish I had known that he wouldn’t tell me what was happening. I had heard that it damaged a child’s self-esteem but had no idea how devastating it could be–he injured himself & lashed out at me and our environment. Finally, I wish that schools in the US would assist children who have been bullies rather than simply trying to prevent the behavior. It seems the only thing my telling his (public) school about the bullying about it brought us was a red flag on him as a potential bully.

  16. Naomi Richards says:

    Jen that is awful. Bullying should not be normal anywhere. It can ruin children and therefore prevention is needed so that children are better equipped to deal with it – and we are too! Thank you for your story.

  17. No one should ever be a victim. I teach the children I work with that you must tell someone you trust if they ever feel victimised. Have started a buddy system with older children looking out for the younger ones. I also work with the bullies who many a time do not realise they were intentionally bullying as they were mimicking behaviour they have seen.

  18. Naomi Richards says:

    Nathalie, yes there is a lot of copy cat going on I imagine. I see younger children especially doing this. I like your buddy system. In schools this can really work. Thank you so much for your comment.

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