Tips to help your child who is being bullied
You need to consider what you know about your child and the details of the situation to make the best decision for your child.
Let your child know that you will take the bullying seriously and that you can help them to report it to the school.
Stay calm and positive (click to expand)
It can be upsetting when your child is being bullied. It might be necessary to draw on your own networks to get support for yourself while you are helping your child. Focus on identifying a solution with your child. Your attitude will be reflected in your child. A confident, positive and resilient appearance can stop bullying from continuing.
Sometimes children don't want their parents to become involved and are afraid of the consequences if they tell you and the person who is doing the bullying finds out.
You should contact the school immediately if your child's safety is at risk.
Talk with your child (click to expand)
Discuss strategies with your child and set a short period of time to see if they can resolve the situation if they want to try to deal with the bullying themselves.
Encourage your child:
- to walk away
- to try to act unimpressed or unaffected
- to use other strategies to diffuse the situation (e.g. agreeing in an offhand way with the bullying when they say offensive or negative things – known as fogging)
- to say 'No!' firmly
- to talk to the teacher or other staff, e.g. school guidance officer.
Talk to your child about the tips and advice offered on the student section of this website.
If the bullying continues or increases, contact the school.
Give them the Kids Helpline telephone number and web address to use if they ask to talk to someone other than the school, or you don't feel able to support them.
Encourage your child to talk about what happened. Tell your child that reporting the bullying is okay. Assure your child that it is NOT their fault.
Help your child to learn new ways to relate to the other child.
Talk to your child about acting confidently even when they don't feel it.
Practice these strategies with your child to help them to:
- stand and walk in a way that appears more confident
- give a quick reply to surprise or disarm the other child
- use a routine response (e.g. okay, whatever) that implies that the child is not bothered.
Do not advise your child to fight with the other child (click to expand)
Fighting (as distinct from defending themselves from a physical attack) with the other child can escalate the situation, and your child may be reprimanded for their part in a fight.
Report the bullying to the school (click to expand)
Let them know that you will also report it to the school. Help on how to contact your school is available on this site.
Seek help for your child to improve his/her social skills (click to expand)
A child who has been bullied can be at greater risk than others of being bullied again (even when the bullying has been dealt with). Knowing how to deal with bullying and difficult people not just at school, but throughout life in social situations and at work is a basic life survival skill.
Sourced from Australian Psychological Society .
The strategies mentioned above for dealing with bullying also apply to dealing with cyberbullying. You can teach your child how to be safe on line, as well as supervising and restricting access to technology.
Learn strategies (click to expand)
Learn strategies to keep your child cybersafe and teach your child strategies to deal with cyberbullying.
If your child is being bullied via electronic communication, encourage your child:
- not to respond to the message or image
- to save the evidence
- to block or delete the sender
- to report the situation to the Internet Service Provider or phone service provider; they can help you block messages or calls
- to tell trusted people – teachers and police if necessary.
Stay informed (click to expand)
Go to our Resources section for links to websites with advice for you on how to help your child to be cybersafe and reduce the likelihood of cyberbullying:
- Resources to use with your child (young child; older child, teenagers).