Anti-Bullying Week 2017
In line with this year’s Anti-Bullying Week, Ditch the Label have released the findings from their annual survey of 10,020 people aged 12 – 20 years old across the UK.
Out of those surveyed, 54% of them said that they have been bullied at some point, and 12% admitted to bullying others.
Whether your child is being bullied, or the one doing the bullying, it is vital that you talk to them about what cyber-bullying is and the impact it can have.
Starting the conversation
Try to first establish what your child thinks bullying is, then ask about any experiences they have had with it. It may be their experience or their friend’s, but it is important to understand what they know and have witnessed, in order to help them. Try to remain calm and listen, it could be a very big thing for them to talk about it, through fear of feeling scared, embarrassed or ashamed. Once they have opened up, remember to maintain that conversation regularly so that they don’t feel forgotten about; remind them that you are there to talk to about however they are feeling.
If your child is the bully, explain to them the impact of what they are doing and ask them to put themselves in the other person’s position. The BBC website iWonder – Am I a bully? helps children identify bullying and understand what it does to others – http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zqgbgk7.
The NSPCC have some great tips for starting those difficult conversation topics – https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/talking-about-difficult-topics/.
Managing the bullying
Make sure to teach your child how to stay safe online. Banning them from using the internet or their mobile could just make them feel more alienated and could be seen as a punishment. Take a look at this guide for protecting children online – https://phew.org.uk/2017/06/guest-post-a-guide-to-protecting-children-online/.
Finding an escapism could also help your child. Try to find something that makes them feel good about themselves, such as a sport, listening to music or a hobby / craft. This could do wonders for improving their confidence.
If the bullying continues, or your child is the bully, it is important to contact the school or a club if it is related to a child within there. Although the bullying may not take place during these times, each organisation has an obligation to protect children from bullying. If your child is the one doing the bullying, you may be hesitant to contact these organisations due to a natural urge to protect your child, however it may be that the child who is being bullied has not spoken out and is suffering alone and in silence.
Further support can be found on the NSPCC’s website – https://www.nspcc.org.uk.
To view the full report from Ditch the Label, visit https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Annual-Bullying-Survey-2017-1.pdf.
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