Children who have been involved with bullying often lose confidence with who they are. We call how people feel about themselves their ‘self-esteem’. As a parent/carer there is lots you can do to help boost your child’s self-esteem.
- use praise and words of encouragement
- when praising your child try to praise them, rather than the thing they are doing. So rather than saying ‘those cakes look lovely’, say ‘you’re so clever to be able to make those cakes.’ Make your comments personal to your child.
- if something doesn’t work out, make sure your child feels they have done their best
- find out about local classes, which may be of interest to your child, such as theatre, sport or art clubs.
- Identify your child’s strengths, and work on them
- try not to set unrealistic goals
- every parent/carer sometimes has to disagree with something that their child has said/done... but remember to criticise the behaviour not the child. So you could say to your child ‘swearing is unacceptable’, but should avoid phrases like ‘you are horrible for swearing.
- explain that no-one is perfect and that it is ok to make mistakes
Helping children who bully others
It can be very distressing if you find out that your child is bullying others. It is important to accept that there is a problem and to work with the school to find a solution together.
- try to stay calm
- find out the facts, including the actions of other children involved
- discuss the problem with your child, it may help them just to talk it over
- find out if your child was upset, worried, jealous, or perhaps being bullied themselves.
- give your child a positive goal to aim for
- speak to school staff and offer to work with them
- make sure that your child knows what bullying is and why it is not acceptable
- give your child praise and encouragement if the bullying behaviour is not repeated
- try to encourage them to have a more positive reputation, perhaps they could be known for being brilliant at football rather than being a child who bullies
You may find it difficult to accept that your child has been bullying others.
Try to accept what happened. It does not mean you have failed.
Some people may find it helpful to talk to someone outside the family - contact us.