This is a particularly delicate topic to discuss, and even more so given the nature of our publication. We always stress that what we can give you here is advice and orientation, but we must be clear that nothing we write can be taken as a substitute for what a true specialist would recommend.
Bullying at school is a very serious topic, not just because it is something that our son our daughter might be suffering at the hands of another boy or girl in the class, but because it is something that children don’t usually like to talk about. Very often they will keep it to themselves, be it through embarrassment, fear of reprisal or feeling safe at home and not wanting to bring to mind any such horrible moments experienced at school or college.
It is fairly certain that they won’t let us know what is happening to them, so it is important that parents are observant: if we notice a sudden mood change, crying for seemingly no reason, nausea, we find their schoolwork is deteriorating, they don’t want to go on organized school trips or bruises begin to appear that they attribute to falls they have had, then we should consider the possibility that our child is being bullied.
We should sit with our child and show them that we are prepared to listen to them. We have to try and get them to let it all out and to realise that they can confide in us. Don’t lose patience if you see that they are finding it hard to tell you something: the main thing is that they know that we are there for them. Sooner or later they will let us know what is happening.
It is important to speak with your child’s teacher or the headmaster of the school and keep them up to date with the situation. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help. They will help you to solve the problem and, given that they know the pupils, will know what to tell us we should do. It is also important that they keep you informed and get in touch with you should they witness any incidents of bullying and let you know what was done about it.
As parents, it is natural that we would feel worried, but we should make an effort and, at the very least in front of your child, turn our worries into calmness, determination and a positive attitude. As bad as we may think the situation may be, we should try to convince ourselves that we can find a solution.
Finally, and this is key, we need to be aware that we are not psychologists. We have to be realistic when confronting things like this: if your child’s is extremely anxious nothing is a better substitute for a specialist. They will know what to do due to the experience they have and they will do the best possible for your child.
All of this advice can be summed up as we have said many times before: in difficult times we should aim to be the best support possible to our child, but we should also be aware of our limitations.