What can I do if my child is being bullied?
Bullying is a distressing experience for all children, especially after a diagnosis. Although not all children experience bullying, it’s important to understand the steps you can take if your child is affected.
Talk to the school
If you have serious concerns, you should talk to your child’s school immediately. Schools will normally have a behaviour or anti-bullying policy which sets out how bullying is dealt with if it happens. If you don’t feel that your school is dealing with the situation, you can ask for a meeting to discuss this formally.
There are a number of ways your school can deal with bullying to create an environment where it is seen as unacceptable. This could include having a ‘key’ adult at school that your child can go to if they’re upset, or peer mentors, where older children act as ‘buddies’ and someone to talk to.
Explain the situation
Cancer in children is rare, so many young people have no real understanding of what your child is going through. When classmates understand your child’s illness, they are more likely to be supportive.
Your child’s teacher can order our free ‘Cancer and school life‘ pack, which includes a lesson plan to encourage pupils to think about the ways they can help and communicate with your child in and out of school.
Helping your child
It’s normal to feel angry if your child is being bullied. But it’s important to make sure you are listening to your child and discussing what would be useful for them. Make sure that you are well supported too and are looking after yourself.
You can help your child by helping them build up their confidence and self-esteem. Contact have more detailed information about helping your child respond to bullying and tips for building confidence and self-esteem on their website.
Do you need more information and advice about education? Young Lives vs Cancer has partnered with Contact, the charity for families with disabled children, who can offer specialist advice on a range of issues including education and learning support.
Your Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker will be able to give you more information about how to access their services, or you can find out more about how to get in touch with Contact here.
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