One in 6 Australian children are bullied every week. Bullying can lead to anxiety, lowered self-esteem and serious depression.
Bullied children may feel too scared, ashamed or guilty to tell their parents. Telltale signs of bullying may include:
- Not wanting to go to school or wanting to go a different way.
- Being anxious before or after school.
- Unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches.
- Damage to clothes or lost belongings.
- Deterioration in school performance.
- Sleeping problems.
- Repeated headaches or stomach pains.
How can you help?
Let your child talk about their problems and know that you take their concerns seriously. Reassure the child that being bullied is not their fault and that something can be done.
Fighting back generally makes things worse. Some effective strategies include:
- Ignoring the bully or walking away.
- Making a humorous or neutral reply, such as 'maybe' or 'if you say so'.
- Making an assertive response such as 'I don't like that and I want you to stop'.
- Not letting the bully see you are upset.
- Using positive self-talk when being picked on, such as 'I know what he is saying is not true'.
- Imagining a special wall around you so insults bounce off.
- Avoiding the bully.
- Making more friendships.
If necessary, approach the school or speak to your doctor for further help. Children can ring the Kids Help Line for free assistance on 1800 55 1800 or visit http://www.bullyingnoway.com.au/.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Autumn 2005 Edition | Page 4
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