Today marks the start of #AntiBullyingWeek.
It’s a week dedicated to highlighting issues around bullying and this year, supports the important message that ‘change starts with us’. We’ll be joining in with Odd Socks Day 2019 on Tuesday with Andy & the Odd Socks, and will be proudly wearing our loudest, craziest ‘odd socks’ in support of the cause. Beware; sock flashing will be taking place over on our Instagram page!
These type of positive campaigns offer a fun and engaging way into talking about bullying.
What if it’s your child being bullied? It’s every parent’s nightmare… isn’t it. I don’t think anything can really take away that feeling of utter despair and helplessness at not being able to immediately ‘fix’ a bullying issue. However, you CAN arm yourself with a bank of knowledge to turn to.
I’m so pleased to introduce Simon Benn as a guest on 3 Little Buttons. Simon is the UK’s first Children’s Happiness Coach and he’ll be highlighting some key points for parents to remember.
By Simon Benn, Children’s Happiness Coach
I’ve helped more than 1600 children understand how to be happy.
What I’ve learned is that when it comes to being bullied, how the parent responds is one of the most important factors in the determining the outcome and future happiness of the child. If your child is being bullied, here are 5 things you need to remember as a parent.
1. Keep your emotions in check
It’s an emotional time but the more resilient you can be, the more resilient your child is going to be. You may be angry, worried or upset about what is happening to your child. However, you must remain calm and rational. Your child may already be overwhelmed by emotions, so be their rock.
2. Tell your child it is not their fault
The first thing your child needs to see is that it’s NOT their fault that they’re being bullied. Bullies say they’re picking on us for our glasses, height, weight, clothes etc. They’re really picking on us because they’re sad, angry or scared.
Show them how much you love them, tell them you will get through this and that you will all be happier when you come through it.
3. Help your child be resilient
Bullying upsets some kids more than others. That’s due to different levels of resilience. Most parents whose kids are bullied wish they’d built their children’s resilience earlier. But it’s never too late to start. Bullies don’t pick on kids that don’t react. No-one has the power to make us unhappy. We can choose how we feel.
4. Make it formal with the school
Many parents regret not getting formal enough soon enough. In the myriad of things on their to-do list, letters to the school don’t get written and schools don’t take enough action.
Your teacher and your child’s school will have come across bullying before. This may mean that they’re likely to be desensitised to it. This may affect their reaction and they’re probably likely to be less emotional about it than you. They’re not being heartless they’ve just seen it before.
5. Take the lead
We’re used to teachers taking the lead and taking care of what needs to be done. Many parents of bullied children have told me that when it comes to bullying, teachers don’t take the lead. I conducted a survey and 75% of parents told me they were dissatisfied with how the schools deal with bullying.
Don’t be frightened to ask for help. If you are not getting the support you want from your child’s school, don’t be afraid to ask for help elsewhere. You can and will get advice to help make your child happy again.
If you’d like more support, get in touch with me at www.bully-proof.com.
*Can you spot the Odd Socks!
Thank you for these tips Simon. For updates, you can also follow Simon on Twitter @_simonbenn.
If you or your child is experiencing bullying, please speak up and reach out for help from someone you trust. I know it’s incredibly daunting, but you’ve got this. The Anti-Bullying Alliance has a fantastic section on their website with tools and contact information of where you can gain support.
Please remember that you are not alone.