Bullying is a problem that affects lots of young people, but did you know that children with a speech and language disorder are significantly more likely to be bullied than their peers?
A recent study, carried out in 2012, found that children who stutter are 61% more likely to be targeted by a bully, while another study by Mencap found that eight out of ten children with a learning disability have been bullied at some point.
These figures are upsetting, especially considering that bullying can be hard to spot. Children often don’t report it because they feel ashamed or afraid, or because they don’t want to be thought of as a ‘tell tale’.
For this reason, we thought we’d do our bit to combat bullying and provide a resource for parents of children suffering at the hands of bullies. We want to make sure that you’re not only able to recognise the signs of bullying, but also feel comfortable talking to your child about it, so that you can work together towards a positive solution.
Spotting the signs of bullying
There are lots of signs to watch out for if you’re concerned that your child may be being bullied. Keep an eye out for:
Talking to your child about bullying
If you do suspect that bullying is the cause of your child’s anxiety, remember that not all children will respond well to being questioned about it. Sometimes it’s best not to ask them directly, rather to ask open questions about their day and how they’re feeling, making sure you give them plenty of time and opportunity to respond.There are lots of listening skills that you can use in order to try and encourage your child to open up, such as:
If your child is being bullied
Finding out that your child is being bullied can be very upsetting, but it’s important to put your own feelings aside. Before you approach the school, be sure to write a list of the facts: what happened, who was involved, when it occurred, who witnessed it, anything your child did that may have provoked the incident, and whether it was a one-off or series of events.
Please, now that you’ve read these tips, don’t forget to share them so that other parents are able to recognise the signs of bullying. Even if you don’t think that your child is a victim of bullying, someone else’s may be, so do your bit to stamp out bullying today!