Finding out your child is being bullied can be devastating for parents, but there's lots of support and advice out there to help.
We've pulled together useful resources, videos and links below.
1. How can I help my child if they are being bullied?
If your child is being bullied, don't panic. Your key role is listening, calming and providing reassurance that the situation can get better when action is taken. The Anti-bullying Alliance recommends six key things you can do to help.
The NSPCC has advice about talking to your child's school or club, they recommend you:
Arrange a meeting with their teacher
- Take another person along with you for support if you feel it will help you.
- Take a notebook so you can jot down what’s said at the meeting.
- Bring any evidence you have of the bullying, such as text messages, a record of incidents, or screenshots if the bullying is happening online.
- Tell them what effect the bullying is having on your child, and make it clear you expect them to respond.
- Ask for a copy of the school or club’s anti-bullying policy, behaviour policy and complaints procedure. These may be available to you before the meeting on the school or club’s website.
- Ask the teacher or organiser what action they’re going to take, making sure you all agree on what they propose to do.
- Arrange a date to speak to them again so you can see what progress has been made.
- The school may inform the Police if the bullying involves ongoing harassment and intimidation, or a hate crime, such as racism or homophobia.
Download the guide for parents about supporting your child if they're being bullied written by the Diana Award Anti-Bullying Campaign.
2. My child has been accused of bullying others
It can be very difficult for parents and carers when they find out that their child has been involved in a bullying incident. The Anti-bullying Alliance has great advice about what to do when the school contacts you as well as how you can help your child recognise the harm they have caused and encourage them to change their behaviour in the future.
3. Making a complaint about bullying
Your child’s school is required by law to determine measures to encourage and promote good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying.
Find out more about the law and your responsibilites and the process to follow if you have taken the steps above (section 1) and the bullying continues.
4. Anti-bullying information tool for parents
The Anti-bullying Alliance (ABA) have designed an interactive anti-bullying information tool for parents and carers. It gives you really straight forward, clear non-judgemental advice and support. Visit the ABA pages and use the anti-bullying tool.
5. Useful links
- Bullying UK Information and advice for children, young people, parents including a free helpline and online chat service.
- ChildLine Support and advice for children and young people who are being bullied, know someone that is or are worried that they might be a bully themselves.
- Childnet Focuses on online safety including cyberbullying advice for children, young people and parents.
- Kidscape A UK charity which aims to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse. Offers a free anti-bullying helpline for parents and tailored advice for young people, parents and professionals.
- Upside Factsheets and confidential online chat for young people.
- Ditch the Label is an anti-bullying charity that helps thousands of young people overcome bullying each month.
- NSPCC - advice for parents and carers about bullying
- The Anti-Bullying Alliance (ABA) is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals, who work together to stop bullying and create safer environments in which children and young people can live, grow, play and learn.
- Family Lives (previously Parentline Plus) 0808 800 2222 - gives support and advice for parents on any aspect of parenting and family life, including bullying.
- Contact has a helpline for families with disabled children - they can give advice on bullying issues. You can contact them on 0808 808 3555 and visit their website for more information
- The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) Provides help and advice on cyberbullying, the Centre maintains a website called Think U Know for children and young people, and parents and carers about staying safe online.
- Internet Matters Provides regularly refreshed content to support parents and carers with all aspects of e-safety. Includes lots of advice on technology that can help you to protect your child online and helpful content relating to cyberbullying.
- Ofsted Parent View website This website has an online questionnaire that allows parents and carers to give their views on their child's school at any time of the year. The questionnaire asks for parents for their opinion on 12 aspects of their child's school, from the quality of teaching, to dealing with bullying and poor behaviour, with a final question as to whether or not they would recommend the school to other parents.
- Red Balloon Learner Centres Red Balloon provide intensive, full-time education for children aged between 9 and 18 who feel unable to return to school because they have been severely bullied. There are Red Balloon Centres all over England, and they also have a programme of online support.
- Welldoing is an independent, UK-wide directory of therapists and counsellors who are all members of reputable professional organisations. There is a seperate search function for children and adolescents in need of therapists and counsellors. It also supplies information and advice in the areas of mental health, wellbeing and development.
- Counselling Directory provides a huge support network of counsellors, enabling visitors to find a counsellor close to them and appropriate for their needs.