This years Anti-Bullying Week theme is ‘Change Starts with Us’. The Anti-Bullying Alliance has worked in collaboration with O2 and The Young Advisory Group to review the bullying landscape and identify ways to improve this.
They surveyed 1000 young people aged 11-16 years for their views on and experiences of bullying and found that 24% of children said they are bullied once a week or more. An incredible 11% said they have missed school because of bullying.
Bullying isn’t an isolated event. It happens throughout every aspect of a child’s day. From the walk to school, to the classroom, in the playground and at home, online. It makes sense that this is an issue that we all have to work together to solve. Schools, parents, tech companies, the government, businesses and the media and influences all have our roles to play.
These insights have revealed common concerns relating to bullying and identified each aspect of life where children can be affected by these issues. The report also provides recommendations for how each sector can make changes to address bullying. We’re sharing the tips for parents with you here but you can also access the full report for more ideas.
Change starts with… Parents
With 23% of those surveyed saying their parents had not talked to them about bullying and 73% thinking that adults need to step up and help tackle the problem, it’s clear that we have a key role to play.
Here’s what the report recommends parents can do:
Take the time to talk and find out about your child’s day:
The report found kids wanted to have ‘warm conversations’ with their parents. They also wanted to be able to talk to parents about anything they were worried about.
Understand the technology your child uses
Improve relationships with siblings
Teach your child about empathy
Put yourself in your child’s shoes and be aware of the issues they face
The key message for parents is ‘talk to us’. This can be difficult but hopefully these tips will help get the conversation started.
It’s clear that this issue isn’t something that’s going to go away quickly, or is a one stop fix. We can all do things to help and need to keep our eye on the ball over time.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance’s pupil wellbeing questionnaire in 2016 revealed that 1 in 4 children were bullied a lot or always. It also found that children and young people who were involved in school bullying went to school less, had poorer relationships with their teachers, and were less likely to feel safe or included within the school.
Results from the Kings College London research in 2015 also confirmed the long term effects of bullying. They found that people who were bullied as children and were now in their 50’s were more likely to experience a range of mental health issues, earn less money, not gain qualifications, not be in stable relationships and be obese.
It’s clear and widely reported the devastating effects bullying has on children both in childhood and beyond.