Bullying can take many forms and isn’t always obvious to the adults in a child’s life. For the child being bullied, there are likely to be serious implications - unhappiness, stress, loss of concentration, self-esteem and focus at school and even physical ill health.
It’s a serious issue for both those being bullied and the bullies themselves.
Most children at some time have been teased or have had difficult times with their friends. But when another child is tormenting them either physically, verbally or in other ways, it needs to be dealt with.
Increasingly, cyberbullying is turning into a problem. Bullies are taking to new media platforms - emails, chat rooms, instant messaging, social networking sites and texting to taunt and bully others – which can extend the comments to a wider group of children – increasing the suffering for the child being bullied.
Often children don't want to tell a parent they are being bullied – they may feel humiliated, feel they are at fault somehow or worry that by telling you things will get worse. As a parent, you might suspect something is wrong.
Common signs that your child may be being bullied are:
We felt that the therapist was able to offer our son the space he needed to talk about his issues without worrying about the consequences. The change in his behaviour has been remarkable – it’s like we have a different child in the house.
It makes sense that being bullied is going to have a negative impact on your life – and studies with twins have looked at the long-term mental health effects. The study showed that those who have been bullied are more likely to develop anxiety disorders, depression and even paranoid thoughts. These conditions may not show themselves immediately – they can develop years down the line1.
1 Singham, T., et al (2017)
Finding out your child is bullying another is a horrible and worrying thing – and parents often don’t know how best to stop their child’s behaviour. Confrontation and punishment are natural reactions for parents, however, bullying can be a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be dealt with.
Benefits of finding help for a child who bullies:
Seeking help early is the most important step you can take to ensure that negative behaviours do not escalate or becoming entrenched.