Bullying in schools, both on the playground and online, is a problem in Australia. In fact, 1 in 5 Year 4 students experience bullying on a weekly basis. Bullying is hurtful and dangerous and may lead to mental health problems down the road.
In this article, we explore how parents can take a stand against bullying. Doing so can make a difference for both your child and many others. It is recommended that parents get professional advice to support children, and themselves, if bullying persists as a problem.
It can be challenging to know what to do if you find out your child is being bullied at school or, these days online, or is bullying other children. While this is a tough situation to manage, all adults (including parents, teachers, and other school staff) must respond to bullying early on.
Steps to Help Stop Bullying
Make it Clear: Bullying is not acceptable
Responding quickly to signs of bullying sends the message to children that it is not acceptable behaviour. While children may feel awful getting bullied, they might believe they deserve it, or that’s ‘just the way it is’. Help children to understand what bullying is and that it is never okay. Allowing bullying to persist until it gets worse, or not being consistent in responding to bullying, is dangerous for a child’s health and can make it harder to address later on.
Talk About It
Being bullied can feel shameful, so creating an open and understanding environment to discuss what’s going on is important. Help your children understand what bullying is, why it happens, and how to respond to it safely. Keep the discussion open and check in often to see how things are going at school or online.
Address Bullying Tendencies
If you are concerned that your child is bullying others, the same ideas apply. Communicate with your child and dive deeper into why they are bullying others. Do they understand bullying? Where did they learn this behaviour? How should they modify their actions? Stay involved with your child’s behaviour at school can help quell bullying and improve life for both your child and their classmates.
Model Good Behavior
As always, a privilege and burden of parenting is to lead by example. Part of teaching our children about bullying involves giving them an example of how we should treat and stand up for others. Kids pick up how adults speak to and treat their friends, colleagues, and other adults. Show kindness and compassion in your everyday life and this will teach your children how to react mindfully to stress and conflicts.
Bullying is a real problem in our society and particularly for children. Parents are the most powerful force in managing bullying through our behaviour and actions. We must address it as unacceptable behavior and be alert and supoprtive to whether our chidlren are experiencing it at school or in online digital channels
Written by Kaitlan D.
As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.
 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). 2015
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s children. 2020
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.