It can be a huge shock to hear that your child has been found bullying other children at school, especially if you have never witnessed such behaviour first hand at home.

You may have been called, emailed or written to by your child’s teacher and asked to work with them to resolve the bullying and make it clear that bullying is unacceptable.

So, what next?

According to teachers, some parents are often in denial about their child’s bad behaviour and are unwilling to help the school resolve the bullying. Your first step may be opening your eyes to the problem and accepting the evidence, even if the reports being made of your boy or girl are completely out of character.

1. On message
Your main focus as a parent should be placed on reinforcing the message at home that the bad behaviour was unpleasant, hurtful and unacceptable.

2. Root cause
Adults are advised to ask bullies to consider what sparked the bullying behaviour in the first place. A starting point could be asking questions along the lines of: “What has this person done to offend you so much that you think bullying them is an appropriate response?”

3. Be kind
Emphasise respect. It’s suggested that you remind your child that they liked to be treated with respect and should treat others accordingly.

4. Keeping talking
Maintain a close relationship with your child’s school by agreeing a plan with the head teacher and calling, emailing or meeting with members of staff until the issue is resolved and your child is no longer participating in bullying.

5. Build empathy
Asking your child to describe how their bullying behaviour made their classmate feel can help build a sense of empathy. Understanding the feelings of others is known to decrease the chances of future bullying behaviour.

To learn more about talking to your child about bullying and bad behaviour, visit – https://www.bullying.co.uk/advice-for-parents/

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