Tips on how to start the conversation about bullying

Dr Bruce Robinson talks about bullying and what every parent needs to know

This month on The Fathering Channel we are bringing you a special series on bullying and cyber bullying to assist all fathers and parents develop their skills and knowledge to support their child if the situation ever occurs.

How do I explain bullying to my child?

Bullying is when a person or group of people keep doing things to someone that make them feel hurt, upset or frightened. Bullying can happen online or offline.

The difference between bullying behaviour and other aggressive behaviour is that bullying is repeated acts; the same person or group target the one person over and over.

Some important tips for talking to your children about bullying

  • Talk about what bullying is. Explain the fact that it is repeated acts by a person or a group.
  • Let you children know it is always okay to ask for help. If they are afraid, upset or can’t stop the bullying from happening themselves they should always ask for help.
  • Talk about when to ask for help. It is important that children know when to try and deal with things themselves and when to ask for help. If they feel they can’t stop the bullying themselves, they should ask for help straight away.
  • Support your child’s friendships and talk to them about how to be a good friend.
  • Open the lines of communication by creating casual chat. Side-by-side is a great way to have chats. Going for a walk, driving in the car, washing the dishes together or other such tasks are a great opportunity to bring up some tough topics.
  • Discuss how to solve social problems. Ask questions while you are having a casual chat like – “What would you do if?”, “Do you ever see kids having problems with each other at school?” or “What would you do if this happened to you?”
  • Keep reinforcing that you are always there to help and support. Make sure your kids know that you will be open and will listen and support them if they need help.

Check out all of our trending stories this month on bullying and how you can support your child to be better prepared and open to discuss and solve a problem should it occur.

Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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