Bullying information for Parents/carers

Bullying can have a big impact and long term effects on people’s lives

What is bullying?

Bullying is persistent verbal or physical aggression that a person feels is physically or emotionally intimidating. It can mean being attacked, mocked, humiliated, threatened, made to feel worthless or hurt in other ways.

It can be face to face, by rumour, text or the internet. It is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with quickly.

Children who bully also need help from their parents and other organisations to understand why they bully others, and to change their behaviour. Some children become bullies because they have been bullied themselves.

Signs that someone may be bullying your child
  • Not wanting to go to school or leave the house on their own
  • Coming home with cuts, bruises or torn clothes
  • Possessions or dinner money being regularly ‘lost’
  • Falling out with friends
  • Aggressive behaviour towards brothers and sisters
  • Not doing well at school
  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
What you can do if you think your child is being bullied
  • Gently encourage your child to talk, even if they become upset
  • Stay calm and listen – this will reassure your child
  • Focus on facts – what, where, who and how often
  • Ask how they felt
  • Show you take it seriously
  • Make clear it is not their fault
  • Tell your child you want to help, but be guided by them in deciding what to do
  • If they won’t talk with you, suggest they speak to someone else in confidence, such as Childline
  • Discuss who you should share this information with
Encourage your child to deal with bullying
  • Stay around friends to avoid being alone
  • Keep away from people that intimidate them
  • Ignore comments or funny looks and walking away
  • Be confident but not retaliating aggressively
  • Keep a diary of incidents – who, what, when and where Letting you or another adult know
Help your child feel happier
  • Encourage them to focus on the good parts of their life and to value existing friends
  • Help them find leisure activities to boost their confidence and find new friends
  • Lett them know you love them and want to help them and that the bullying is not their fault
If the bullying is happening in school
  • Let the school know straight away. Arrange to meet a member of staff who your child suggests. Talk to staff calmly.
  • Report exactly what happened, how many times, when, where, and who was involved. If your child has kept a diary of events, take it with you.
  • Knowing that you and the school understand the problems and are working together will help your child feel safe.
  • Be positive and let your child know that things will get better by working with the school.
  • Ask for a copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy, which will explain how they deal with bullying.
  • Understand that schools cannot share confidential information about other children.
  • Agree ways to improve things rather than finding someone to blame.

If, after a reasonable amount of time, you feel the bullying is not being dealt with, ask the school for its complaints procedure.

See GOV.uk for further information about bullying in school.

If your child is being bullied on the way to or from school
  • Listen to your child and find out what they want to happen
  • Explain that you can let the school know what is happening
  • Discuss the issue with a member of school staff
  • Find out about the school's anti-bullying policy and how such issues will be prevented and dealt with
  • Help your child find others with whom to travel to or from school
  • Help your child find a comfortable way to respond assertively (as opposed to passively or aggressively)
If your child is being bullied outside school
  • If your child is being bullied at a club or an organised event, talk to the organiser
  • If it’s happening in the local community, such as in the park or shopping centre, report it to Hampshire police on: 0845 045 45 45
  • Community Safety Teams based in Basingstoke and Deane, Gosport, Havant and the New Forest can help to deal with anti-social behaviour and look at the underlying issues – call 0845 6001747
  • If there’s a serious physical assault that needs immediate action, call the police on 999

See Gov.uk for further information about bullying outside of school.

This information is also available as a leaflet.

For a large print version of this leaflet please telephone 01962 846398. You may also request a copy in Braille, on audio cassette, on disc, and in other languages.

Further sources of information