Talk to your children if you think they're being bullied or have witnessed bullying.
Listen carefully and get the full story
Stay calm and positive so that you can support your child and plan a course of action with them. Listen and tell them you believe them. Ask questions to get more details if you need to – who, what, where, when, how.
Reassure your child that the bullying is not their fault
Take their problem seriously – let them know you’re happy they’ve told you. Explain that it’s not their fault and it’s never OK to be bullied.
Ask your child what they want to do about it and how you can help
Avoid jumping in to solve their problem. While it’s natural to want to protect your child, work with them to find their own solution. Explain that reporting the bullying is OK because kids often need help from adults to stop it. Point out that if they don’t do anything, the bullying will probably continue.
Talk to your school
Your child may not want to do this, so discuss the idea and reassure them that their school would want to know and is able to help. When talking to school staff, try to remain calm and constructive. A good working relationship between you and the school is important. Your school’s anti-bullying policy helps make sure the obligation to provide a safe learning environment is being met.
Check in regularly with your child
Keep talking. Your support is very important.
Important! Contact the Police if the bullying involves criminal behaviour, such as sexual assault or use of a weapon, or if the threat to your child’s safety is in the community rather than the school.
Find out more
Learn how to support your child to tackle bullying behaviour: www.bullyingfree.nz/parents-and-whanau