Long-term plan required for National Day of Action again Bullying

By , 25/04/2020 19:35

Stand up, speak out: Cyber-bulling is a growing problem among n children. Picture: Rodger Cummins
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One in four n children are bullied repeatedly.

It is a stark reality but in conjunction with National Day of Action against Bullying today (March 16), parents are encouraged to know the signs so they can help children speak up.

Director of n parenting website, raisingchildren,Julie Green, said young people who have experienced bullying needed to be reassured they were not alone.

“It is important children are not left to sort out bullying on their own as it can be devastating for a child’s confidence and self-esteem,” she said.

“If parents are aware their child is being bullied they can take steps together with other key people, for example teachers, to quickly stop it.

“There is no single way to tell if your child is being bullied if they don’t tell you, but there are some social, emotional and physical signs parents and carers can look out for.”

These include bruises, cuts, scratches, poor eating and sleeping, not wanting to go to school, bed-wetting, avoiding social events, complaining about head or stomach aches, missing property or torn clothing.

“You might notice your child might seem unusually anxious, upset, nervous, teary, withdrawn or secretive and these behaviours become more pronounced at the end of the weekend or holidays, when the child has to go back to school,” associate professor Green said.

“Listen to what your child has to tell you and make it clear that you will help.”

“Days like today’s National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence are an important opportunity to start a conversation at home about bullying, why it’s not OK, and how we can support children on this issue.”

But University of Queensland professor,Marilyn Campbell, saysknee-jerk reactions to bullying are counter-productive.

“Bullying is a complex social relationship problem which is deeply embedded in our society,” she said.

“It is a community issue with no single, simple, quick-fix solution.

“The best way to address bullying in schools must take a longer term, multi-tiered approach.

“Programs which work in primary schools are much less effective in secondary schools, whose students need a different approach.

“In our research on individually counselling students who persistently bully, using motivational interviewing, it took about three months of weekly sessions to effect a change.

“One day can highlight the issue but it won’t solve the problem.”

She emphasisesthe importance of building on existing programs.

“Any approach takes time and effort and should have a strengths-based focus, making use of the invaluable, nationally available resources which are evidence-informed,” she said.

University of South lecturer in child development, Lesley-anne Ey, said early intervention was important.

“International and n research has found that children under the age of eight years commonly confuse bullying behaviour with developmentally normal conflict and aggression, suggesting a need for education about bullying with this age group,” she said.

“Currently there is a lack of anti-bullying educational resources and programs for young children, with formal education being absent in the n curriculum in the junior primary and preschool years.”

Someone to talk to now—for children andyoung peopleIf you want to talk to someone now, go toKids Helplineor call them on 1800 55 1800. It’s a free call, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.eheadspacealso offers online chat or email support services for young people aged 12–25, as well as their family and friends. You can call them on 1800 650 890.its a free call. Theeheadspaceteam are available between 9am – 1am (AEDT) 7 days a week.If you’re outside ,Child Helpline Internationalis a global portal for all child helplines around the world. Click on the ‘Where We Work’ tab, select your continent or country on the world map, and a list of relevant child helplines will display.

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