Emotional health


No parent likes to think about their child being bullied or, even worse, being a bully but the fact is, more than half of all children are involved – either as a perpetrator, victim or witness. So, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with it at some point.


Signs to watch for if you think your child is being bullied

  • bruises
  • broken or missing possessions
  • becoming withdrawn – not talking, or spending more time alone
  • changes in eating habits
  • changes in behaviour – becoming aggressive at home
  • sleeping badly
  • complaining of headaches or stomach aches
  • wetting the bed
  • worrying about going to school
  • suddenly doing less well at school


But there could be other reasons for these signs, so try to avoid jumping to conclusions. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is there anything else bothering my child?
  • Have there been changes at home like a new baby, or divorce or separation?


If there have not been any other changes and you suspect bullying may be the cause of the distress and anxiety, it is important to try and act as early as you can. Some children find it hard to talk about it, if they cannot talk about it ask them to write it down.

Tips to help your child

“Listen without getting angry or upset,”. Never dismiss their experience. Ask your child: “How do you want me to take this forward?” rather than just taking over so they don’t feel excluded from deciding what to do or end up even more stressed/worried than they were already.

Reassure your child it’s not their fault. Role-play bullying scenarios and practice your child’s responses. Talk about how our voices, bodies and faces send messages just the same way our words do.

All schools have an anti-bullying policy – ask to see it

For more advice and support