If your child is bullying others
It can be upsetting to find out that your child has bullied others. However, there are things you can do which can help your child.
Children who bully others need help and support to learn better ways of relating to others.
Focus on positive solutions
Children who bully others need help to:
- understand the effect of their behaviour
- take responsibility for their behaviour
- learn to repair the harm their behaviour has caused
- develop their social and emotional skills – especially conflict resolution
- treat others with respect.
Talk with your child
Try to understand why your child might be behaving in this way. Ask them about what they think is going on and why they are bullying someone else. Ask them what they think might help them to stop bullying.
Bullying is complex. Sometimes a student who bullies other children in one situation may themselves be bullied in another.
Think about any issues or problems your child might be experiencing at school or home that may be impacting on their behaviour.
Explain why bullying is unacceptable
Explain what bullying is and why it is not acceptable.
Talk about the other person's feelings and help your child to understand what it is like for the person being bullied.
Ask them how they would feel if they were being bullied.
Consider what else might be happening for your child
Have any major events taken place recently to upset your child? Is the bullying happening because your child is feeling sad or stressed? Do other issues need to be resolved? Contact the school counsellor or school psychologist if you need to talk about support for your child.
Discuss and practise strategies to respond to bullying
Many children and young people want to try to deal with the bullying themselves in the first instance.
The strategies below may be useful if your child feels safe using these ideas:
- Ignoring the person doing the bullying.
- Telling them to stop and then walking away.
- Pretending you don't care; act unimpressed or not bothered.
- Moving to somewhere safe.
Practise with your child at home so they can use the strategies in situations they find difficult. Give feedback on whether they are getting their message across assertively. Practising at home can help your child feel more confident about trying the strategies at school.
Adapted with permission from Bullying. No Way!
Support for Parents and Carers
Kids Helpline also has a parent line with trained teams who provide support, information and counselling for parents of children aged 0-18 years. You can call them for the cost of a local call between 9am to 9 pm Monday to Friday and 4pm to 9pm on weekends on 1300 1300 52.
You can speak to the parent line counsellors using an interpreter. The Translating and Interpreting Service can be contacted on 13 14 50 to arrange this.
Learn more about bullying at Bullying. No Way!