Bullying and Cyberbullying
What is bullying?
Bullying is behaviour that hurts someone else. It includes name calling, hitting, pushing, spreading rumours, threatening or undermining someone.
It can happen anywhere – at school, at home or online. It’s usually repeated over a long period of time and can hurt a child both physically and emotionally.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. Unlike bullying in the real world, online bullying can follow the child wherever they go, via social networks, gaming and mobile phones.
Signs of bullying
No single sign will indicate for certain that your child is being bullied, but watch out for:
belongings getting ‘lost’ or damaged
physical injuries, such as unexplained bruises
being afraid to go to school, being mysteriously ‘ill’ each morning, or skipping school
not doing as well at school
asking for, or stealing, money (to give to whoever’s bullying them)
being nervous, losing confidence, or becoming distressed and withdrawn
problems with eating or sleeping
Effects of bullying
The effects of bullying can last into adulthood. At its worst, bullying has driven children and young people to self-harm and even suicide.
Children who are bullied:
may develop mental health problems like depression and anxiety
have fewer friendships
aren’t accepted by their peers
are wary and suspicious of others
have problems adjusting to school, and don’t do as well.
All children who are affected by bullying can suffer harm – whether they are bullied, they bully others, or they witness bullying.
Who’s at risk
Any child can be bullied for any reason. If a child is seen as different in some way, or seen as an easy target, they can be more at risk.
This might be because of their:
race or ethnic background
Or it could be because they:
appear anxious or have low self-esteem
are shy or introverted
opular or successful children are also bullied, sometimes because others are jealous of them. Sometimes a child’s family circumstance or home life can be a reason for someone bullying them.
Disabled children can experience bullying because they seem an easy target and less able to defend themselves.
Support for parents and carers
You might experience a huge range of emotions if you discover a child is being bullied. Whether it’s a child in your care or someone you know, there are tips to help you cope and support the child.