What is it?
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate or aggressively dominate others. The behaviour is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.
How many children does this affect?
It affects over 1 million children and young people every year.
What could the child/young person feel like?
Sad, scared, worried, shame, lonely, rejected, unlikeable, abandoned, unprotected, depressed, anxious.
Utterly overwhelmed and rejected.
What are the worst things we could do?
Tell them they need to work harder to be liked or ‘get over it’ or tell them to fight back or be brave.
It can be easy to not realise how severe bullying can be.
It can be so frightening and overwhelming that children and young people can be driven to suicidal thoughts and intentions.
What are the most helpful things we can do?
Make sure that the child feels valued and known and accepted. We need to keep an eye on relationships and make sure that the ‘banter’ that often takes place is sensitive because the bullied child/ young person may not be able to differentiate between banter and slander.
Speak positive, affirming words to the child using specific affirmation and encouragement. Spot them doing something good and tell them!
Help them to tell a teacher at school by informing the parent and suggesting a letter/communication to try and tackle the bullying.
Where to find more info or help
Young Minds is an organisation that is a leading UK charity supporting children and young people struggling with trauma and mental health.
This is a specialist trauma recovery charity set up to enable children and young people aged 3-24 years to have access to specialised trauma therapy. It has five centres in Bath, Bristol, Bradford, Guernsey and Oxford