The 2nd-27th November marks Actionwork’s anti-bullying month, and 16-20th November is national anti-bullying week. Actionwork have a theme of Cyberbullying and E-Safety this year where they aim to raise awareness of a problem that is expanding daily as we see cyberspace constantly expanding at a rapid pace. Anti-bullying weeks theme is ‘Make a noise about bullying’ to raise awareness of bullying and encourage children to talk out about their issues. This week is designed to get everyone involved in raising awareness for the fight against bullying, the national campaign aims to support parents/carers, teachers and young people who may be involved in or affected by bullying.
The Key Aims of the week are..
- To empower children to make a noise about bullying – whether this may be online, offline, happening to them or someone else.
- To help parents and carers have conversations with their children about bullying – both as a way of preventing bullying, and to help children who are worried about bullying;
- To encourage ‘talking schools’ where all children and young people are given a safe space to discuss bullying and other issues that affect their lives, and are supported to report all forms of bullying;
- To equip teachers to respond effectively when children tell them they’re being bullied; and
- To raise awareness of the impact of bullying on children’s lives if they don’t tell anyone it’s happening – or if they are not given appropriate support – with a focus on the impact on mental health.
There are many ways that you can get involved this anti-bullying month including downloading the anti-bullying week campaign pack, helping fundraising, sharing the logo on your website and/or social media and buying official posters, stickers and wristbands from the Anti-bullying Week website.
Here are some top tips for parents from the Anti-Bullying Week website.
- If your child is being bullied don’t panic. Explain to your child that the bullying is not their fault and together you will sort this out.
- Bullying is never acceptable; and should always be taken seriously. It is never your child’s fault if they’ve been bullied.
- Try and establish the facts. It can be helpful to keep a diary of events. If the bullying is online, save or copy images and text.
- Find out what your child wants to happen. Help to identify steps you can take; and the skills they have to help sort out the situation. Make sure you always keep them informed about any actions you decide to take.
- You may be tempted to tell your child to retaliate but this can have unpredictable results. Your child might get into trouble or get even more hurt. Rather – role play non-violent ways they can respond to children that are bullying them (e.g. ‘I don’t like it when you say that to me / do that to me. Stop.’); show them how to block or unfriend people if the bullying is online and help them identify other friends or adults that can support them.
- Encourage your child to get involved in activities that build their confidence and esteem, and help them to form friendships outside of school (or wherever the bullying is taking place).