By SW NSPCC’s Julie Campbell:
Anti-Bullying Week provides a timely reminder that bullying can happen anywhere, to anyone, and be about anything. If your child is being bullied they may feel like there is no escape, but it’s important to talk with them about the different support out there, and help them feel better, whatever is happening.
Bullying and cyberbullying can mean lots of different things and can happen online, at school, or at home. No single sign will confirm that your child is being bullied, but problems with eating or sleeping, becoming withdrawn, not doing well at school, belongings getting ‘lost’, or unexplained physical injuries can all be indicators.
Discovering that your child is being bullied is likely to trigger a huge range of emotions and it can be difficult to know where to start with supporting them. Letting them know you’re there if they want to chat can make a massive difference, and helping them identify trusted adults they can talk to if they don’t want to talk to you or recommending Childline, can help them feel less alone.
The NSPCC’s Childline service provides a safe, confidential place for children, whatever their worry, whenever they need help. They can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.
Most websites and apps have rules against bullying and harassment, but it still takes place and so talking regularly to your children about if they have experienced or witnessed bullying on social media is crucial.
It’s vital, as adults, that we let children know that bullying is never their fault and provide them with the necessary support, which if it is taking place online may be assisting them to report and block people on their accounts.