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Children who are being bullied often don’t tell their parents.

The research on bullying highlights the need for parents to be vigilant when it comes to their children and bullying as many children do not tell their parents they’re being bullied.

Children being bullied

As a loving parent you might be thinking. Why wouldn’t my child tell me?” (64% of bullied children do not report it)*

There are many reasons children don’t tell their parents including:

  • “I don’t want to worry my parents.”

  • “If my parents get involved it will make it worse.”

  • “My parents won’t understand.”

  • “There’s nothing anyone can do anyway.”

It is important to keep a watchful eye on your children and if they start behaving in a way that isn’t usual, then it could be time to sensitively ask the right questions and find out what is going on. So what are the signs your child might be being bullied and not telling you? Our children are unique and so are their responses to adversity, but here are some of the common signs: Uncharacteristically spending a lot of time alone, coming home with more bumps and bruises than usual and blaming it on clumsiness or sports, loss of appetite, more moodiness especially after school or after being on social media.

It is not always straight forward to read the signs, as children can be good at hiding things from their parents – especially if they’re busy trying to manage the many challenges of daily life. However, parents need to be alert because bullying can have detrimental physical and psychological effects on a child and can result in isolation, depression and even suicide.

It’s time we bust the myth that parents should just instinctively know how to raise happy, healthy and capable kids. There are few if any jobs in the world that require no education, training or experience, yet when raising our most precious children we are sent home from hospital and expected to navigate highs and lows of parenting on our own.  The more parents know about helping their children eat well, sleep soundly and manage life’s challenges, the more confident they feel.

*SOURCE: Petrosino, A., Guckenburg, S., DeVoe, J., and Hanson, T. (2010). What characteristics of bullying, bullying victims, and schools are associated with increased reporting of bullying to school officials? (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2010–No. 092).


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