Raring2go! is helping to raise awareness of bullying by supporting the charity Kidscape. Parents know how hard it is when you've got a little one who has suffered at the hands and words of bullies. One mum in particular who feels passionately about this subject is Kimberly Wyatt.
Kimberly says €˜Now that I'm a mum myself, I better understand how important it is to make children feel good about themselves. Bullying, whatever the reason, mustn't be tolerated. The fact we're raising awareness and helping make wearing glasses cool for people of all ages is really important.'
To help raise awareness she has just launched the Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year 2016 awards in association with Kidscape. The competition is now in its 21st year and raises valuable funds for anti-bullying charity Kidscape, which has totalled £300,000 to date. The money raised will help to support them in providing training, support and advice for children, parents, schools and those who may be affected by cases of bullying and abuse in the UK.
To celebrate the annual awards Kidscape have released some tips for parents to help tackle bullying:
- Speak to your child. Find a quiet time when you won't be interrupted to talk to your child about bullying. Be patient, calm and understanding, and do not make assumptions or interrupt. Put your feelings aside and really listen to what your child is telling you so you can fully understand the situation.
- Give reassurance. Make it clear that the bullying is not their fault and praise them for being brave enough to confide in you. Assure them that now you know what is happening, the issues can be resolved.
- Report to the school. Schedule a meeting with the school immediately. For primary schools this is likely to be with your child's classroom teacher, and for secondary schools, the head of year. Give specific examples of bullying incidents and how your child has been affected. Keep a log of incidents to facilitate this. Ensure a course of action is agreed upon regarding how the school will work to resolve the situation.
- Stay informed. Continue having open conversations with your child about their experiences with bullying, and report each incident to the school. If you are unhappy with how your child's bullying is being dealt with, schedule a meeting with the school's head teacher. If appropriate action is still not taken, it is within your rights to make a complaint to the school governors.
- Build confidence. Bullies often 'test' potential targets to see how they respond, and while the target is never to blame, those who appear the most vulnerable usually continue to be bullied. It is for this reason that alongside reporting incidents to the school, building your child's confidence and self-esteem can be one of the most effective ways to help them. Kidscape runs free ZAP anti-bullying and assertiveness training workshops for young people and their parents/carers, which teach practical and effective skills.
Please visit Kidscape's website for more details about ZAP.