Information for Parents
Although bullying is not a major issue at the school, it is very real for any pupil who feels threatened and so we have decided to make these resources available for parents to help them support their child at home.
How can I support my child?
It’s important to try and stay calm and work out how you will deal with the situation together. The Ministry recommends you take these steps:
- talk with your child, reassure them that they have done the right thing in talking to you
- agree on a plan of behaviour for your child
- support your child’s activities and friendships
- regularly check in with your child to see how they are doing
Talk with your child
It's really important to talk with your child and reassure them that they have done the right thing talking to you. Find out the facts such as, what bullying behaviour they have been in, when and how? Ask them how they are feeling at break and lunch times. Use relevant points from these conversations to form your child’s support plan. Your child may not want to talk, which maybe a sign they are being bullied. Help them understand why it happens and what to do by telling them:
- most people are a target, initiator or bystander to bullying at some time during their school life
- people may initiate bullying behaviour for all kinds of reasons
- some children who bully feel pressure to take part in bullying behaviour to fit in with their friends or to avoid being bullied themselves
- telling a parent or school or kura staff member about bullying means they can help to stop it.
Agree on a plan of support for your child
Having a plan will help your child feel more comfortable, give them confidence and assure them you are taking the bullying seriously. Be mindful that they may not want you to make a fuss and put them in the spotlight. Together, plan what your child will do if they get bullied again. Here are some ideas:
- list some immediate things your child can do when the bullying happens. For example: first, ignore the bullying behaviour. If that doesn’t work, tell the person to stop. If the bullying continues, walk away. Tell someone.
- decide and name who they will tell when they have been involved in a bullying situation so they can get help
- encourage your child to tell friends about the bullying – a united peer group can help avoid bullying behaviour
- if bullying happens in certain places, discuss how these areas can be avoided
- encourage them to stick with their friends, in and out of school or kura. Often bullying happens when there is no on else around.
Support your child’s activities and friendships
Let your child spend more time doing things they enjoy in a safe environment. Encourage them to spend time with friends or if they don’t have friends support them to try new activities where they might make new friends, and encourage them to bring friends home.
For younger children, there are a number of books on bullying you can get from your local library that you can read together. Check out:
- Te Taniwha i te Kura by Tim Tipene
- Taming the Taniwha by Tim Tipene
- Back Off Bully by Mark Dobson
- Marvin and the Mean Words by Suzy Kline, and
- Words are Not for Hurting by Elizabeth Verdick.