You can find useful, practical and informative advice about parenting and young people by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.
If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date. Visit our website for more information about our team and our clinic.
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
The issue surrounding parents, children, and the use of corporal punishment is one that is currently of extreme importance. Here, find the information on the consequences of smacking children, and positive alternative methods of discipline.
Is Smacking Children ever OK?
Smacking children is never ok for a number of reasons. Firstly, smacking children is a form of abuse that is punishable by law. Children have the right to feel safe and protected, and therefore should not be subjected to violent treatment. In addition, children tend to mimic the actions and behavior of adults. Children who are subjected to violence often lash out in violent ways themselves.
Consequences associated with smacking children:
can result in trauma and extensive harm to the child;
can lead to the destruction of trusted relationships;
Where parents can go to get help:
By seeking support and attempting to learn new methods to better discipline children, parents are taking a critically important step. They can seek various forms of support including:
practical and personal suppor, information based support
enroll in classes- i.e. anger management, parent training classes
Alternative methods of discipline:
Parents can discipline their children in a number of ways without ever resorting to hitting or smacking. When parents are upset they should:
take time to cool down before disciplining a child
explain the reasons behind their actions to the child
focus on encouraging verbal communication and interaction
explain how to prevent future occurrences to the child
be sure to remain both empathetic and patient when disciplining the child
The Quirky Kid clinic offers consultation, parenting training and our popular workshop, Raised on Praise.
References: Raising Children Network , and Kimberley O’Brien, Child Psychologist
Kimberley discussed the topic of toy guns with presenters from the Today Show. You can find out more information about the effect of toys guns on children and whether children should play with toy guns, by visiting our resources page or discussing it on our forum