My son is being bullied at school and he doesn't want to talk about it – How do I help him?

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(PHOTO:GETTY/GALLO IMAGES)
(PHOTO:GETTY/GALLO IMAGES)

Question

My child is having problems at school. I don’t know all the details because he finds it hard to talk about it with me. What I do know is that there are some boys who are bullying him. He’s only been at the school since the beginning of the year and doesn’t have many friends, and now this is making things worse. I try to give him ideas about how to handle difficult situations, but he doesn’t want to listen I want to do something to help but I don’t know what. I hate to see my child looking so sad.

Answer

Bullying in whatever form it comes can cause great damage to the victim. If not handled carefully, the damage can be irreparable. So it’s good that you are trying to get involved and find help for your son – it will be beneficial for him in the long run.I suggest you inform the school that your son is being bullied. You can even do this anonymously. The school should investigate the matter and will know the proper manner in which to deal with this. Most schools now have life orientation teachers who are trained to handle such matters. It’s wonderful that you’ve made it clear to your son that you’re there for him, but he may benefit from seeing a counsellor because he finds it easier to open up to someone else.

 BullyingUK advices parents to teassure your child it’s not their fault. There’s still a stigma attached to bullying and some children feel they’ve brought it upon themselves. Remind them that many celebrities have been bullied too. Being bullied isn't about being weak and being a bully isn't about being strong. "Encourage your child to try to appear confident - even if they don’t feel it," says Sue Atkins, former deputy head and parenting coach. Body language and tone of voice speak volumes.

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