Has your child been bullying someone?
No one wants to think of their child as a bully, just as in the same way no one wants to see their child suffer at the hands of a bully. So if you suspect, or know that your child has been bullying someone, you need to do what you can to put a stop to it.
There are a number of websites that you can visit and read up on how to deal with a situation like this. See our More advice and info page.
The main thing to remember is that you should not ignore it and hope that it goes away. If you don't tackle it now, it could quickly get out of hand for the victim and your child, who may find themselves excluded from school. They may even get a criminal record if the Police become involved. Consider the following actions:
- Talk to your child about what you suspect or know they've been doing. Be prepared for them to deny it, but try to understand why you think they have become involved in bullying.
- Stand by your own convictions. Keep a closer eye on what they do and where they go. Reduce the opportunities they have to be a bully such as suggesting they have friends round to the house rather than going out all the time.
- Talk to a teacher at their school. If the bullying is happening at school, the teachers can take action such as seating people apart in class.
- Talk to the parents of your child's friends. See if they have experienced anything similar with their own children. Try to find out more about what's going on.
- Contact your Safer Schools Officer, local police station or Safer Neighbourhoods Team - if itís an emergency and someone is in immediate danger call 999.
If you don't think that your child will listen to you, you may wish to encourage them to seek help and support elsewhere.
- They can speak to a professional at ChildLine on 0800 1111.
If you're worried things are getting really bad and your child is being violent or abusive to someone, you should consider reporting them, even if you know that they will get into trouble. It's better that they get into trouble now before things get worse and someone ends up hurt. Most types of bullying aren't normally a matter for police but if someone is hurt or a crime is committed you should get in touch.