Parents, and in general adults, play a very important role, both in terms of identifying a child at risk and helping that child to manage the problem. However, it is not always easy to determine if children are involved in. So what can you do in order to understand if your child is being bullied?
First, try to keep conversations in the family as open as possible. Adults have the opportunity to notice those small changes in moods, and behaviours that children and young people can show during their daily lives.
Be careful, however, not to come to hasty conclusions. When you notice indicators such as those listed above, bear in mind that some behaviours may also be related things that maybe happening to a child.
How to approach the conversation
Opening up and talking to an adult about a bullying situation is never easy for children. Pressing them with direct questions may not be the most effective strategy, that can lead to a child turning in on themselves and keeping quiet.
Here are some suggestions on how you might think about starting a conversation with the child:
- Invite your child to tell you about his friends and what he likes about them.
- Explore day to day school activities with them like how s/he has eaten in the canteen or what s/he does during their school breaks: whom does s/he spend time with when playing at school?
- Think about reading a book/article together or watch a video about bullying and ask them what they think about it and how they feel.
- If your child tells you that s/he is being bullied, the first thing to do is to keep calm, bearing in mind that at that moment s/he needs your support in order to overcome the situation.
- Try to reassure her/him and thank them for trusting you, reassuring them that you will be find a solution together is very important! Victims often feel that bullying may not stop and by speaking out they worry it will make matters worse.
- Try to collect as much information as possible, respecting children’s timings and needs, you may need this when discussing your concerns with another parent or the school.
- Explain her/him that it is better not to react if the bullying situation persists: reacting would only worsen their condition.
- Try to find a way forward together, so that s/he can get involved in the decisions you make and not feel they are losing control of the situation.
- If bullying took place in the school setting, arrange to speak to someone at the school who has responsibility for children’s welfare. And talk to them about any decisions you have discussed with your child.
If you need further advice don’t forget to seek professional help, our whether you have any doubts whether you child is perhaps a victim or perpetrator of bullying. If you want to know more about what to do after then you can contact Telefono Azzurro’s on 1.96.96, they are open daily, 24/7, and have experts and professionals specialized in preventing and combating bullying situations at hand to help you.
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