What to do if your child is be­ing bul­lied

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND -

SOME stu­dents start­ing pri­mary or high school may find them­selves sub­jected to bul­ly­ing.

The Queens­land Health web­site pointed to the na­tional def­i­ni­tion for Aus­tralian schools: “Bul­ly­ing is an on­go­ing mis­use of power in re­la­tion­ships through re­peated ver­bal, phys­i­cal and-or so­cial be­hav­iour that causes phys­i­cal and-or psy­cho­log­i­cal harm. It can in­volve an in­di­vid­ual or a group mis­us­ing their power over one or more per­sons. Bul­ly­ing can hap­pen in per­son or on­line, and it can be ob­vi­ous (overt) or hid­den (covert).”

The Bul­ly­ing No Way web­site had the fol­low­ing tips for par­ents or car­ers whose chil­dren were be­ing bul­lied:

Lis­ten calmly and get the full story – Your calm re­sponse is im­por­tant to al­low your child to tell you all about the sit­u­a­tion. Af­ter they’ve told you their story, ask ques­tions to get more de­tails if you need to: who, what, where, when. Although you may feel some strong emotions about your child’s ex­pe­ri­ence, try to keep calm to avoid more dis­tress to your child.

Re­as­sure your child they are not to blame – Many chil­dren blame them­selves and this may make them feel even worse. You could say things like, ‘That sounds re­ally hard to deal with. No one should have to put up with that.’ Ask your child what they want to do and what they want you to do. A crit­i­cal part of your re­sponse is to avoid jump­ing in to solve the prob­lem.

Con­tact the school – Your child may be re­luc­tant for you to do this, so dis­cuss the idea and re­as­sure them that the school would want to know and is able to help. Make an ap­point­ment to meet with your child’s teacher and, if you need to, ask to talk with the prin­ci­pal. Con­tact the school im­me­di­ately if you have a con­cern about your child’s safety.

Check in reg­u­larly with your child – Keep the con­ver­sa­tion go­ing. It can take time to re­solve is­sues, so check in reg­u­larly with your child.

For more go to bul­ly­ing­noway.gov.au

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