My son is struggling to settle into secondary school

Question:My 12-year-old son has just entered secondary school. Just one boy from his primary school has gone to the same secondary. While he is doing well academically, he is struggling to make friends. In the first weeks a number of the boys in his mixed class were engaging in bullying behaviour as they all clumsily … Continue reading My son is struggling to settle into secondary school

How can I help my daughter not to join in with bullying a classmate?

PARENT QUESTION: How do I set my eight-year-old daughter up so she’s not part of a group of girls who are excluding one girl in the class? The context is that the “one girl” has said unkind things to others. Now a group of five or six of the girls are being unkind back to … Continue reading How can I help my daughter not to join in with bullying a classmate?

My son was bullied for a year before we knew

QUESTION Our 11-year-old son was bullied in school for over a year and it has affected him badly. Unfortunately, he was too scared to tell us but we found out eventually from his school. The bullying happened when my son was in fourth class. The other child was older, in sixth class, and is no … Continue reading My son was bullied for a year before we knew

Our teenager seems down in the dumps and withdrawn

QUESTION My 15-year-old daughter seems to be unhappy all the time, and my wife and I are worried about her. She seems down in the dumps and spends a lot of her time just moping around the house. This is something that has been slowly building over the past 12 months or so. She seems … Continue reading Our teenager seems down in the dumps and withdrawn

Help me deal with my teen’s insecurities

QUESTION: My 14-year-old daughter, who used to be a happy, confident child, has become quite introverted and lacking in confidence. She makes lots of comments, putting herself down and implying that she is not attractive. For example, when watching TV she will mention how some skinny girl on the screen is “gorgeous” or “has a great figure”, somehow … Continue reading Help me deal with my teen’s insecurities

My 16 year old has been cyberbullied

Q. My 16-year-old daughter had become quite withdrawn and irritable the past few weeks. She eventually told me that she was picked on and bullied by another girl online. This girl is from around the area but goes to another school. She had met a boy at a disco a few months go and dated him a few times. He was an ex-boyfriend of this girl and she posted some nasty stuff about my daughter online.

Should I let my 13 year old on Facebook?

Q. Our oldest daughter just turned 13 and is pushing to have a Facebook account. Myself and her father feel reluctant to let her do this, as you hear about all the horror stories of cyber-bullying and inappropriate usage and so on. I’d prefer her to wait until she is older but she argues that all her friends in school are on it and accuses us of being “old-fashioned” and out of touch.

Building children’s self esteem and confidence

‘Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.’  -Sigmund Freud                                           

If you suspect your child is being bullied or is a bully

Unfortunately, bullying isn’t uncommon, and in some surveys up to 40 per cent of children report experiencing or being involved in bullying at school. Many children who are targeted are already marginalised or struggling. Up to half of those who are bullied suffer in silence and don’t tell their parents or teachers what is going on.

My daughter’s friends are excluding her. Is she being bullied?

Q: My daughter who is just eight fell out with one of the girls in her class and since then the girl has been ignoring her and this upsets my daughter. I initially tried to advise her to “move on” and find other friends but it seems that now some of the other girls have joined in and are ignoring my daughter and excluding her from games in the yard. I told my daughter I needed to talk to her teacher, but then she got upset and was worried it would make it worse.

My daughter is being called a bully

Q: Last week I was called into the school and told that my nine-year-old daughter was involved in bullying another girl. I was shocked as this came out of the blue. What seems to have happened is one girl in the class has fallen out with my daughter and a few of her friends. Now the other girl has no friends and the teachers say my daughter and her friends have been excluding her and leaving her out all the time. My daughter more or less told me this when I asked her about it.

My preschool daughter’s friend is mean

Q: We have a daughter full-time in a creche since she was 14 months old. She will soon be four and she has always been happy there up to the past couple of months. Her “Best Friend” moved up to the Montessori room with her last summer. Coming up to Christmas, there was a period of physical carry-on where my daughter was on the receiving end of occasional slaps and kicks, being hit with toys, etc from Best Friend. At all times the creche stepped in immediately and dealt with it and it phased out fairly quickly.

Online Bullying

While online social media has revolutionised how we communicate with one another, the fact that it can be used as a forum for personal attacks, intimidation and bullying has been highlighted in recent weeks. Several pertinent questions are raised such as does online social media give rise to a more dangerous form of bullying and what is it about the psychology of online social media that gives rise to bullying in the first place?