By Jennifer Bailey, Clinical Lead for Children and Young People’s Services at The Retreat

I’m pleased to see the focus on anti-bullying during Anti-Bullying Week from 16th – 20th As a child therapist at The Retreat I see the impact of bullying on children and young people as they grow up.

Let’s all take action to stop bullying and create a culture in which everyone feels safe and respected as a unique individual. 

When people see a child being bullied, they can feel powerless to know how to intervene. Other children may feel frightened to intervene in case they get bullied themselves. Children may not want to tell their parents if they are being bullied for fear of making the situation worse. Parents may be worried, particularly if they have been bullied themselves, and not sure of the best way to intervene. Schools are busy and may not always really know what is really happening due to the secrecy of bullying.

The Anti-Bullying Alliance has worked with children and schools to develop a range of resources for children, young people, parents/ carers and schools to tackle bullying. There are ideas for positive steps and for everyone to work as a team to keep children safe from bullying and harm.

The Website is comprehensive and well worth looking at, www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk  

We are all a vital piece of the puzzle in tacking bullying. Here is some of the support available:

Children and Young People

There are videos available for children and young people in which a range of people address questions such as ‘What is bullying? How does it make you feel? They include people talking about what part they will play in a team effort to reduce bullying.

Parents and Carers

There are also resources for parents and carers – you can download a toolkit for activities at home and gain 60-day free access to the SafeToNet pioneering safeguarding app.  For parents who are worried about bullying and need some advice they can contact the Kidscape Parent Advice Line. See the website www.kidscape.org.uk

Schools

There are information packs for primary and secondary schools that include lesson plans, posters and interactive videos. The interactive video is engaging, young people and teachers can watch a video about a hypothetical bullying situation and talk about the choices they can make – and consider the implications of the choices that they make.  

Odd Socks Day

Monday 16th November is Odd Socks Day. This is a chance for schools and companies to celebrate Anti-Bullying Week in a positive way by asking people to wear odd socks. For children this is supported by Andy Day, cBeebies star and front man of Andy and the Odd Socks.

I’ll be wearing odd socks on Monday 16th November and I hope you will be too!

By Jennifer Bailey, Clinical Lead for Children and Young People’s Services at The Retreat