Anti-Bullying Week 2018: Choose Respect16 November, 2018
Bullying can cause many young people to feel isolated, worthless and insecure. Over time, repeated bullying may also cause a child some serious, lasting issues, as their confidence and self-esteem diminishes.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance have launched their annual Anti-Bullying Week campaign this week and this year’s theme is to choose respect over bullying.
The theme came about after teachers and students agreed that bullying was a choice. Just like choosing to bully, people can instead decide to respect one another in school, in their homes and their communities, online and beyond.
It’s also important that young people look out for one another and speak up when they experience, or see the signs of bullying.
To support the campaign, we thought we’d share some advice for parents and foster carers around bullying.
What are some of the signs of bullying?
Although every child reacts differently to bullying, there are some signs parents and carers should look out for:
- Visible bruising
- Broken or missing possessions
- The child has become withdrawn
- Change in eating habits
- Change in behaviour
- Sleeping badly
- Worrying about going to school
- A decline in academic performance
What can parents do if they think their child is being bullied?
It’s not easy for any parent when they suspect their child is being bullied. However, it is important that you deal with it in the appropriate way to help resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
Here are some of the things you can do if your child tells you they are being bullied:
- Listen without getting angry or upset
- Thank them for being brave and confiding in you
- Ask what your child would like you to do now – don’t exclude them from the conversation
- Reassure your child that it isn’t their fault
- Don’t let the bullying dominate their life – help your child develop skills in new areas
- If it is online bullying, gather evidence and keep your child offline until everything is resolved
- Report the bullying to the appropriate adult in the place where they are being bullied
- Try and rebuild your child’s self-esteem by doing things they enjoy
With some of our children spending more time online than they do in the classroom, it is essential that they are reminded of some of these basic safety tips that can keep them safe when using the internet:
- If you see bullying report it and don’t join in
- If the bullying persists, speak to a responsible adult who can take it further
- Don’t post any personal information online
- Never give out your passwords
- Don’t befriend people you don’t know
- Don’t meet up with people you meet online – speak to your parent/carer if people suggest you do
- Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
There’s lots of great resources on the Anti-Bullying Alliance’s website to support parents, teachers and children with bullying.