Unfortunately, bullying is an all too common experience for many Australian students. Approximately 1 in 6 Australian school students between the ages of seven and 17 report being bullied at least once a week - with more primary school-aged students experiencing bullying.
In fact, a recent survey involving over 40 countries found that Australian primary schools were among those with the highest reported incidences of bullying worldwide. Parents therefore play a crucial role in assisting their children to address and respond to bullying behaviour.
What is bullying?
Definitions of bullying are varied. However, the majority of definitions include:
- Intentional hurtfulness
- Abuse of power
Examples of school bullying include:
- Physical fighting
- Name calling
- Social exclusion
- Spreading rumours and gossip
- Distributing hurtful or embarrassing messages or pictures.
How parents can support children experiencing bullying
1. Be calm and positive
It is upsetting, to say the least, to hear that your child is being bullied. However, parents need to model confidence and positivity about what needs to happen to stop the bulling from continuing.
2. Contact the School
Staff at school need to be made aware of what is happening. It doesn’t matter if the bullying is occurring outside of school hours – the School needs to know in order to respond.
3. Talk with your child about how they can respond
It can be helpful to discuss some immediate strategies to assist your child in dealing with bullying, for example advising them to:
- Walk away
- Say ‘No, I don’t like that. I’m going to report this’
- Talk to a teacher and/or school counsellor immediately after something has happened so the details of the bullying incident are fresh in the child or young person’s mind
- Immediately report any bullying that they may not have been directly involved in, but have witnessed or heard about.
It is most important that children feel able to comfortably report bullying to their parents. They need to know it’s not their fault, they won’t get in trouble, and bullying is entirely unacceptable. Everyone has the right to feel safe.
Children should also be commended for their courage to speak up against bullying. They should be reminded that they may not be the only one experiencing bullying by a particular child or group of children, and their reporting may very well assist other children.
The Counselling Department at Trinity is staffed by registered psychologists who welcome contact from anyone in our parent community wanting to discuss concerns relating to their children. They can be contacted directly on 9581 6035.
Trinity Grammar School knows what boys need to flourish. For more information about how Trinity meets the wellbeing needs of students, please download our Prospectus.