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The issue of bullying affects nearly everyone during their school years, whether as the victim, the aggressor, or a bystander. When a child experiences bullying, it can have a devastating impact on your child’s behaviour, eroding their confidence and trust in others. Essentially, it's a form of child abuse, though it's often overlooked because it's perpetrated by another child.

Is Bullying Common in Australian Public Schools?

Bullying is a widespread problem worldwide, and Australia is no exception. Government statistics reveal that 7 out of every 10 children aged 12 to 13 have encountered bullying (source). From a child psychology perspective, bullying is a traumatic experience, and when it happens, children need the support of their parents. Therefore, how you react to the news that your child is experiencing bullying truly matters.

What Would You Do If You Thought Your Child Was Being Bullied? 

It's an important question to consider. When you suspect that your child is being bullied, it's crucial to respond appropriately. On one hand, you want to raise a resilient child, but you should not neglect the issue. Let's discuss some pointers on what you should and shouldn't say to your child as part of your parenting approach.

"I'm Being Bullied at School" – The Right & Wrong Response

  • Don't say – "Ignore it and it will stop.”
  • Do say – "Really? Come here” (followed by a hug).

Telling your child to ignore bullies and hope the problem goes away is not effective. Bullying is a real issue that needs addressing, and your child needs comfort and support during this difficult time.

  • Don't say – "Deal with it yourself.”
  • Do say – "You're not alone in this."

Leaving your child to deal with bullying on their own is not the right approach. They may be too young or overwhelmed to handle it independently. Instead, ask your child how you can help and let them know they are not alone.

  • Don’t say – “Which kid was it? I’m going to speak with their parents!”
  • Do ask – “Have you told the teacher at school?”

While it might be tempting to confront the bully's parents, this can often make the situation worse. Many children prefer less confrontation in these situations. Encourage your child to speak to a trusted adult at school.

  • Don't say – "You need to toughen up!"
  • Do say – "Walk away if it happens – and seek help from an adult.”

Telling your child to toughen up or be aggressive is not the right advice. Instead, encourage them to avoid conflict and seek help from a responsible adult if bullying occurs. Teaching non-violence is a more constructive approach for modern Australians.

Improve Your Parenting Skills With Online Courses Australia 

Bullying is just one of the many aspects of parenting that makes it such a challenging task. But you don’t have to do it alone. Our CPD-endorsed online courses like our Supporting Children At Risk of Harm course can help you navigate the more challenging aspects of parenting.

With one-on-one mentoring and lifetime access to course content from wherever you are, there’s no better learning pathway. 

Want to find out what it’s like to study at Online Courses Australia? Watch our Student Study Demo to get a taste of the OCA difference. 

Looking for more online courses? Check out our most popular courses, or visit our expansive course library that covers more than 20 professional industries.

If you’re ready to enrol or have additional questions, reach out to us at 1300 611 404 or [email protected]. We’re here to help you take your career to the next level.

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