Bullying behaviour usually involves an ongoing misuse of power in relationships. It usually involves repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour. It is intended to cause physical and/or mental harm.
This can happen in person or via digital and other technologies, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert). No parent wants his or her child to go through this. Unfortunately the reality is, as a parent, we will need to respond to this issue at least once during our child’s schooling life.
Regularly talk to them about school, and their friendships. When your child isn’t OK, it won’t seem unusual for you to be interested in their wellbeing.
If your child discloses he is the recipient of bullying behaviour, don’t panic or become emotional. This will help your child to be confident to talk to you about these and other issues without fear of an overreaction or judgement.
Educate yourself on your school’s policy and processes. Find out who you can talk to at the school and how bullying behaviour is addressed.
Keep up to date, use the latest cyber technology via the eSafety Commission. This provides easy language explanations about common and new social media sites, apps and games.
Monitor their tech. Technology is great, but we wouldn’t let our kids drive a car at six years old with no supervision or lessons. So, we need to apply the same thinking to phones, tablets, computers and gaming devices.
You can read more about cyber safety in your home here.
Popular sites for support:
- Office of Esafety Commission: www.esafety.gov.au
- KidsHelpline: www.kidshelpline.com.au
- Raising Children Network: www.raisingchildren.net.au
- Headspace: www.headspace.org.au
Ann Barr is the Student Protection Officer at Cairns Catholic Education