Talking to your children about bullying can be a hard conversation. Bullying can come in many different forms. It can be emotional, physical and verbal. We have put together some advice on how to tackle this difficult subject with your children.
Keep it general When approaching the subject of bullying it is important to keep the conversation between you and your child simple and not too complicated. For example, whilst you are watching television together or making the dinner you could gently bring up the conversation as a starting point whilst asking about their day.
Definition of Bullying Whilst explaining to your child what bullying is we suggest that you use the official definition of Bullying provided by the ABA (Anti Bullying Alliance). Therefore, you don’t have to mention the words ‘Bully’ or ‘Victim’ as this can often lead to making the situation worse. Instead focus on the imbalance of power that can occur in a bullying situation. The ABA definition of Bullying is ‘the repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. This can happen face to face or online’. You may also like to talk to your child about the term STOP and what each letter stands for.
Communication Keeping up with what’s going on in your child’s life will help you spot a situation should it arise or help you identify if there is something your child is hiding from you. Try and keep up to date with what your child is doing at school, their friends, their activity on social media and how they are feeling. This will help build up your child’s confidence in confiding in you about their everyday life. Get involved and learn about your schools Anti-Bullying policy. Listening to your child is very important when talking about bullying. Firstly establish the facts, we suggest keeping a diary of events so you can keep an easy, accessible record.
Next Steps Children often find it hard to talk about bullying they may feel ashamed or embarrassed but it’s important to reassure them that it is not their fault. Next, find out what steps your child wants to take. Identify the choices they have, the potential steps they can take and the skills they have to solve conflict. We highly suggest contacting your child’s teacher, head teacher or lead adult to wherever the bullying is taking place, remember it doesn’t just happen in school.
If your child’s school would like further help and advice with their Anti Bullying programme ask them to get in touch. We have a range of drama based workshops designed to tackle bullying in a fun and creative way.