I was horrified to hear of the recent story of the young girl tortured by a group of teenagers and then thrown off a bridge. These were her friends at one stage, in fact one had been romantically involved with her at one stage. Horrifying and incredibly scary stuff. So I did a quick google search into bullying and was even more horrified to read just how young our children are experiencing bullying. One report suggested bullying in preschool years!
One in 4 Australian kids experiences bullying at school so unfortunately if your child does experience bullying they are definitely not alone.
It’s important to be able to recognise the signs that your child is being bullied. These can include:
cuts, marks and bruises
withdrawal from activities
losing items at school
feelings of stress and anxiety
avoidance of school
loss or increase in appetite
loss of sleep
So what can you do?
It’s important to keep the lines of communication as open as possible. Ask them directly if they are being bullied and try to work together to help prevent it. Try to relate to them as much as possible, this could mean talking about your own experiences. Encourage them to talk to someone else. Kids Helpline have great resources and is a safe place for kids to call to chat.