It can be upsetting to discover that your child is being bullied. Bullies can act alone or as part of a group causing distress verbally, physically or online. Look out for tell-tale signs such as unexplained bruises, broken or missing possessions, becoming withdrawn, changes in eating habits, wetting the bed, refusal to go to school and other abnormal changes in behaviour.
It’s important not to take matters into your own hands by confronting the bully or the bully’s parents yourself. Instead, contact your child’s school; work with them to produce a solution. Schools have a variety of sanctions they can implement to help resolve bullying. These include formal warnings, arranging a meeting with the bully’s parents, detention and, in more serious cases, exclusion. If bullying is taking place in between classes or in the playground, ask the school for extra supervision of your child during these times.
If your child feels as though they cannot face school due to unresolved bullying, you can also contact the Local Education Authority (LEA) for further support. This organisation can intervene to help stop the bullying. If you are concerned about your child’s mental wellbeing, you may be referred to a qualified counsellor. Your child may benefit greatly from speaking to a qualified professional in a safe place, without judgement.