Sourced from the Dyspraxia Foundation
What is bullying?
There are lots of different ways of describing bullying, but it usually means having something nasty or horrible done to you, usually by other children, lots of times. Bullying can happen at school, in class, in the toilets, at playtime or lunchtime, or going to and from school. In fact it can happen anywhere at all!
There are two main types of bullying:
We all have a responsibility to look out for children and young people, as a parent or family member, a friend or neighbour, an employer, or a paid or voluntary worker.
All of us can help to safeguard children and young people if we are aware of their needs and take action if we have concerns.
Find out more from Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, there is specific information for you if you are:
- a child or young person – find out how to keep you and your friends safe, Know your rights, how to stay safe on a night out or in a taxi, what to do if you need help
- a parent or carer – information about keeping your child safe
- a member of the public – what to do if you are concerned about a child
If you are concerned that a child or young person is being abused or neglected, please contact us and let us know. You do not have to give your name if you do not want to.
Please have the postcode where the child or young person normally lives to hand so you can speak to the correct area team.
If you cannot provide this information you should still call and any team will respond to your enquiry in the first instance.
Children and Families Services: Prevention and Assessment Teams
Social care: 0114 2734491
- Multi-agency support: 0114 2506865
- Social care: 0114 2037463
- Multi-agency support: 0114 2053635
- Social care: 0114 2039591
- Multi-agency support: 0114 2331189
Social care out of hours, call 0114 2734855 between 5:15pm and 8:45am
- Physical Bullying - This means if you are hit or pushed, or tripped up as you are walking along. Or perhaps someone takes your things or breaks them.
- Verbal Bullying - If you are called names or teased about how you look or do something. Someone may tell other children in the class lies about you or they may decide not to talk to you at all. Some children may tell you that if you don’t give them money or do what they say, they will hit you. This is bullying as well.
Why are children bullied?
There are lots of reasons why children are bullied. Usually it happens if someone is different in some way. If you are bullied, this does not mean that there is something bad about you. If you are different, this is just part of who you are. We are all different in different ways. Being bullied is not your fault!
Bullying hurts you!
Bullying can make you feel frightened and sad. You may feel nervous and worried about going to school. You may feel so scared about the bullying that you may not be able to do your work properly at school. You may also feel that the bullying is your fault and that there is nothing you can do about it.
What can I do?
You must tell someone! The only way to stop the bullying is to tell someone. Bullies can only be bullies because children keep quiet about what is happening. Here are some of the things that you can do to help the bullying stop:
- Decide who you are going to tell. It can be your mum or dad, a sister or brother, or another relative. If you have a friendly teacher you can talk to them. You can tell anyone you feel you can trust.
- Plan with the person you have told, what you are going to do next. If you want to, with their help, write it down first. If writing is difficult, perhaps they could write it for you, or you could type it on a computer, or record it on an audio tape.
- Every time you are bullied, write down what you can remember. Then, when you do tell, you can say everything that happened.
- Practice different things that you can say to the bullies. Often, the more that they can see you are upset, the more they will carry on with the bullying. Take deep breaths to stay calm.
Try some of these:
- Tell them how you feel or what you want. Say it calmly and look the bully in the eye when you say – “I want you to leave me alone”, “I don’t like it when you call me names, I want you to stop”. You may need to say this a few times. Practice saying it to yourself in a mirror first.
- If someone tries to make you do something you don’t want to do, or threatens you, try saying “No, I don’t want to!”. Keep calm and keep saying this again and again. Try not to get angry or upset. This can be hard if the other person comes close or pushes you, but if you sound calm and in control, it sometimes works.
- If someone calls you names, try ignoring it or saying something like “That’s all you know”. If you look like you are calm and are not bothered by the names, it makes it all very boring for the bully. They are less likely to do it next time.
- If you know that someone is being bullied, even if that person is not a friend, it is important to do something about it. Sometimes children are afraid to say something in case the bullies start to bully them. That is what the bullies want! If no-one tells, then they can do whatever they want, even if it is wrong because no-one will know it is happening.
- Telling is the right thing to do. Ask for help, but remember that you can say what you want to happen now that you have told.
- Don't go over and try to fight the bullies yourself! It might not be safe and other people might think you are the bully
- Even if other children try to get you to join in with bullying – don't!
- Tell a teacher what is happening
- Try to be a friend to the person who is being bullied. They will probably feel all alone and very sad
- Try to be a friend to the bully. Sometimes children who have no friends, become bullies instead. If they have a friend, that may help them to stop, but being a friend to them, does not mean that you should do what they do. If they want you to be a bully too, then you will need to be very strong and just say NO!
- Sometimes you will need to ask a grown-up for help
Are you a bully?
Children who are bullies may also be sad and unhappy! Children who bully other children, may do it for lots of different reasons:
- They may feel left out of games or clubs if no-one will play with them
- They may feel left out at home, say if their parents have a new baby
- Sometimes children who are bullies are getting bullied themselves! They may feel that because they have been bullied, then no-one will want to be friends with them
- Sometimes bullies feel that if they have been bullied before, they will be bullied again. To make sure it doesn’t happen to them again, they bully other children first
- Some children bully to show off and feel tough, because they think they are no good at anything else
- Some children just don't like themselves at all and so they are angry at everyone else
None of these reasons are an excuse for bullying. Bullying is NOT OK. Remember that bullies need help too. The best way to help them is to tell, so that they can stop being bullies and just be friends instead. Everyone needs friends.
If you are bullying other children, it is a good idea to get help. Talk to someone about it! Talk to your parents or a teacher. It will help!
Who else can I talk to?
Try calling Childline. This is a free phone service for children who need help of any kind, feel they are in danger or just need to talk to a friend: Free phone – you don‘t need any money 0800 1111