Bullying occurs when someone or a group of people cause psychological or physical harm to another person, or damage their property, reputation or social acceptance, on more than one occasion. Bullying can take on many forms. Direct bullying involves physical aggression and verbal attacks. Indirect bullying is more subtle and can include actions such as exclusion and ignoring, spreading rumours, embarrassing and humiliating others.
It has also been reported to occur in internet chat rooms, and via email and text messaging – cyber-bullying. Children who are bullied experience real suffering which can affect their social, emotional and educational development.
New Anti-Harassment Laws will give legal protection for young people tormented by Bullying. The new legislations means young people under the age of 16 will be able to use sexual harassment laws to protect themselves.
How can I tell if my child is being bullied?
- Does your child find excuses for not going to school, e.g. being sick?
- Is your child tense, tearful and/or unhappy before or after school?
- Does your child have unexplained bruises or scratches?
- Is your child showing difficulties sleeping such as nightmares or bedwetting?
- Does your child talk about not liking school or other children at school?
- Have you noticed your child’s standard of school work declining?
- Have you noticed a change in the usual behaviour pattern of your child?
- Does your child have a lack of friends at school?
How can I tell if my child is bullying others?
- Does your child talk about his/her peers in a negative or aggressive way?
- Does your child have money, toys or other items that do not belong to him/her?
- Does your child have difficulties getting along easily with others?
- Is your child involved in a peer group that supports bullying behaviour?
What can I do if I am or someone I know being bullied?
- There are many things you can do to deal with it and this includes trying to deal with it yourself, like ignoring the bully, hanging out with friends, and being confident.
- If bullying does not stop, you should seek help. Talk to a friend, a family member, teacher or psychologist. Talking to someone will help you feel better.
- Find out about your school anti-bullying policy. Not dough this has happened to many other people before and there will be a standard approach to addressed.
- If it happens outside school – it can be useful to ask any witnesses to support you as you approach authority figures like bus drivers, police or similar.
- It is important to deal with bullying immediately to reduce the likelihood of it reoccurring over a longer period of time.
How can the Quirky Kid Clinic help my child?
If you suspect your child may be experiencing bullying, or bullying others, please contact the Quirky Kid Clinic on (02) 9362 9297 to discuss the following options:
- Individual counselling and therapy with one of our experienced Child Psychologists
- “The Best of friends” and “Self Esteem” workshops for individuals and class groups
- School-based intervention and support