Discovering that your child is being bullied can leave you feeling helpless. However, there is much you can do to stop bullying, and help your son or daughter to recover.
The first step is to listen to your child, calmly. Hear them out, letting them know they were right to tell you and that, together, you can make the situation better.
Reassure them that they are not to blame. They did not deserve to be bullied. It is not just part of "growing up." The anti-bullying charity Ditch The Label, advise telling your child that the bully's "attitude and behaviour is at fault."
Establishing the facts of what has happened is important, say the Anti-Bullying Alliance. Write down details, and keep a diary of events, to share with the school or college. Such records may prove crucial.
Make sure you involve your child in deciding how the bullying will be dealt with. Discuss any course of action with them first. Victims of bullying already feel powerless, and you need to put your child back in control.
Do not encourage violent retaliation. Hitting back, may place them in greater danger. The ABA cautions that "reacting that way has negative and unpredictable results." The school could see your child as the bully, punishing them instead.
Finally, speak to your child's school or college. Again, do this calmly. Storming in and demanding action will not help. Explain what your child has gone through, bringing whatever evidence you have. Ask for a clear idea of how they will tackle the problem and follow-up to ensure it happens. Even if bullying is happening beyond the gates or online, the institution has a responsibility of protection.
You can find more information, and downloadable guides, by clicking on the links below.