Health & Wellness

Talking to Your Child About Bullying

As children progress through school, they begin to navigate the ups and downs of friendships. Children become more independent and it can be challenging to make sure what is happening with your child and their peers is appropriate. It is important to watch for signs that your child may be struggling with bullying. If your child seems unusually anxious or worried about going to school, take some time to check in and let them know you are there to support them.

Bullying can take different forms:

  • Verbal: name calling, gossiping, and negative comments about a person’s interests or background (e.g. culture, race, ethnicity, religion, gender or sexual orientation).
  • Physical: hitting, tripping, pinching and unwanted sexual touching.
  • Social: leaving someone out on purpose, telling others not to be friends and spreading rumors.
  • Cyber: the use of email, text messages, social media and internet sites to socially exclude, embarrass and damage reputations and relationships.

What to do if you suspect your child is being bullied?

  • Start the conversation. Talk often and openly.
  • Offer comfort and encourage your child to talk about their feelings.
  • Work with your child’s school to monitor, prevent and stop bullying behaviours.
  • Make safety arrangements. Be sure your child knows how to get help.
  • Build confidence. Encourage new friendships.
  • Stand up for your child. Get involved in bullying awareness and prevention programs.
  • Be a role model. Children learn how to form relationships by watching adults in their lives interact with others.

Adult intervention is key to bullying prevention. Being informed about bullying is the first step in addressing bullying behaviour and promoting healthy relationships. Take action with teachers and other adults in your community to implement anti-bullying programs to help end the negative implications caused by bullying. For more information and resources on bullying awareness and prevention, we encourage you to check out what www.teachingsexualhealth.ca has to offer!



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