Anti-Bullying Week: Noticing the signs and top tips for parents
Did you know that 40% of children in the UK have been bullied in the past 12 months? Equating to four in every 10 children, that’s around a third of an average school class, showing just how big of a problem bullying is.
Bullying is no longer just limited to bruises; there are far too many ways that children can be bullied. With Anti-bullying week taking place from 13th - 17th November, we’ve teamed up with BullyingUK to create a helpful guide for parents, including the different forms of bullying, the warning signs you should look for, and ideas for how you can help.
So, What are the Different Forms of Bullying?
Some forms of bullying are easier to spot, but some can sneak past even the most prepared parents. Three of the most common types of bullying, physical, verbal and cyber, can be easier to find, but it is some of the less visible forms that can often go unnoticed.
A survey conducted by BullyingUK found that 55% of those bullied felt that they were left out by their friends. Now, this may not be an obvious form of bullying, but it can be one of the first steps towards it. Whether that’s being left out in the playground, or being the only kid in the class not invited to that birthday party, bullying doesn’t always look like you expect it to.
How to Spot Bullying
- Your child may start developing unhealthy eating habits
- Your child may become anxious about going to school
- Your child may start to do less well at school
- Your child may become withdrawn and start to lose friends
- Your child may have difficulty sleeping
So when we find these signs how can we address them? We’ve received some advice from BullyingUK on how you can help after noticing these signs.
Top Tips for Parents on How to Combat Bullying
Informal conversationMore often than not a child will believe that the bullying will get worse if they talk about it, so it’s important to make your child feel secure and safe to share their story. Begin any talk about bullying through an informal conversation rather than a formal one. An example of this is using odd sock day on November 13th to introduce your child to bullying. By approaching this topic in a light-hearted manner, instead of sitting your child down and discussing it formally, you are much more likely to get them to open up.
Use ResourcesStart the conversation through an example; find a news article or a TV programme as an easy stepping stone to the subject. Children often blame themselves for bullying, so by showing them that it isn’t their fault, it will make them feel ten times better! An example TV show that you could use is this episode of Charlie and Lola.
BrainstormIf possible, brainstorm with your child ways in which the bullying can be solved. By doing this your child will feel more secure in knowing that a solution is coming, or at the very least will feel prepared if they find themselves in this situation again. Top Tip: After the brainstorm make sure to write down the next three actionable steps together so you both know what to do.
AskBy asking your child how their day went you give them the opportunity to discuss what has happened to them. This may seem like a simple approach, but simple solutions are often the most effective.
Contact Bullying UKThere are hundreds of helpful articles at BullyingUK that may help you find the answer to your question. If you can’t find your answer make sure to ring their helpline at 0808 800 2222, where someone will be there to help advise you.
Bullying can be a nasty experience for both children and parents, and often it can be difficult to know how to react. We hope that this guide has helped, and that you’ll know that there is plenty of information and help out there if you need it.
We also have some tips for families looking to spend more quality time together.
Check out our five top tips for putting family first!