Bullying can not only be difficult for children to talk about, but also difficult for parents to handle. If your child tells you that they are being bullied, your immediate reaction might be to get angry. But flying off the handle won't help - for some young people bullying brings on feelings of helplessness, guilt and shame, so adding your own anger to the mix could just make things worse.
1. Be open
Bullying is a difficult subject to broach with your children, but being open, honest and approachable will make it easier for them to discuss their feelings. Tell them that you are worried about them and why you are worried, that you want to help them and that helping them to be safe and happy is the most important thing for you.
3. Praise them for opening up
It's not easy for children to admit out loud that they are being bullied, so praise them for taking that important step. Now they have spoken to you, you can support them in getting the help they need.
4. Reassure them
Despite so many children going through it, there is still a huge stigma associated with bullying, and sometimes youngsters feel as though it's their own fault. Reassure your child that they are not alone – lots of celebs have been bullied, such as BeatBullying ambassadors boxer Joe Calzaghe and JLS star Aston Merrygold.
4. Work together
If can be tempting, but if you take matters into your own hands and go off and deal with the bullying by yourself, you will make your child look and feel more helpless by taking away their power to make any decisions. Talking to the bully or their parents may lead people to accuse you of threatening behaviour and give the people doing the bullying more to humiliate your child with. Instead, let your child know that you will not go behind their back or do anything to get help without talking to them about it and having their agreement. It is important that you make this commitment and honour it.
5. Get help from others
Encourage your child to report the problem to the most appropriate teacher at their school.
Let them know that if they are being bullied they have a right to get help to stop it, and that you will help them yourself and support them in getting help.
More advice on Parentdish:
How to tell if your child is being bullied