Obtain feedback about your child's behaviours when you're not around. This is a very emotional time for everyone, so you need to think through the issues carefully. Words said in the heat of the moment cannot be unsaid. Aim for flexibility and use what works. If your child has a single bully, it's simple to teach her retorts or social skills. But when your child is bullied by a gang of thugs or a bunch of 'bitches', it is an impossible challenge for just you and your child to manage - the school then needs to step in.
Sensible ideas for your child
• Provide your child with options, e.g. play with other students, avoid the bullies, visit her locker at other times.
• Instruct her to be on the alert, e.g. around narrow laneways, sports areas, at the end of recess.
• Encourage your child to find safe places at school, e.g. near friends or teachers.
• Instruct her to avoid risky places where bullying occurs, e.g. lockers, playground.
• Help her change her routines, e.g. find another route to class.
• Tell her to be wary travelling to and from school and at local public places, e.g. shopping centres, discos.
• Show her how to blend in and avoid unwanted, stressful attention by dressing and behaving like others, e.g. avoid unusual clothing and hairstyles, and don't boast.
• Tell her to hide items a bully can use, not to lend items or bring items a bully can steal, e.g. cash.
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