Quick Exit

What to do if you are worried about a child


The facts:

Bullying can mean many different things. These are some ways children and young people have talked about bullying:

  • ‘They stir things up so people don't want to be my friend. I'm depressed, annoyed, stressed and keep breaking down in tears. I feel like I'm about to fall apart…’
  • 'Bullying won't stop unless you tell some who can help.'
  • ‘Bullies are very cunning and are expert at getting away with it.’

Bullying can happen in and out of school and parents, carers, teachers and other people who work with children have to do something about it if they think that a child or young person is being bullied.

Bullying includes:

  • People calling you names
  • Making things up to get you into trouble
  • Hitting, pinching, biting, pushing and shoving
  • Taking things away from you
  • Damaging your belongings
  • Stealing your money
  • Taking your friends away from you
  • Cyberbullying
  • Spreading rumours
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Making silent or abusive phone calls
  • Bullies can also frighten you so that you don't want to go to school, so that you pretend to be ill to avoid them

What does it feel like to be bullied?

Bullying hurts. It makes you scared and upset. It can make you so worried that you can't work well at school and makes you too scared to go out alone or with your friends.

Some children have told us they have skipped school to get away from it. Some children and young people have also stopped going out in the local area unless they are with an adult.

It can make you feel that you are no good, that there is something wrong with you. Bullies can make you feel that it's your fault. It can happen to you in and outside of school.

What can I do about it?

  • If you or somebody you know is being bullied you need to tell somebody
  • Talk to someone you trust, such as a teacher, parent, older relative or friend.
  • Ask the person you talk to not to do anything without telling you about it first.
  • You have a right to know what is being done on your behalf and to say whether you think it is a good idea or not.
  • If you find it difficult to talk to an adult, ask one of your friends to come with you, or ask someone to talk to an adult on your behalf.
  • Most importantly, do something. Sometimes bullying stops quickly, but doing nothing means it may continue until someone is seriously upset or hurt. That could be you, or the bullies may find someone else to pick on. If their behaviour is not challenged they are unlikely to stop.
  • Be persistent. If the first person you talk to doesn't help don't give up. Speak to someone else.
  • You could telephone ChildLine (Freephone 0800 1111). Their helpers provide a confidential counselling service for young people in trouble or danger.

Here are some things you should not do:

  • Don't try to deal with the problem on your own. There is nothing wrong with asking for help.
  • Don't hit the people who are bullying you. You might end up being accused of bullying yourself. 
  • Always tell the truth about what has happened. Don't exaggerate. If a small part of what you are saying is shown to be untrue then it throws everything else into doubt. 
  • Don't hide what is happening from the adults you trust. Keeping things secret is the bullies' biggest weapon. That is why they go to so much trouble to stop you telling.

Are you a bully?

'If you bully someone, you're out of order!'

  • Maybe your mates think its ok, they might encourage you or laugh about it, but it’s not ok.
  • You are hurting someone else because you want to, and no one deserves this!
  • You could be responsible for someone killing themselves – nearly 20 people a year kill themselves because they can’t stand being bullied.
  • You should stop!
  • If you can’t stop, get some advice.
  • Talk to a trusted adult about it

Other useful websites:

If you have any questions about bullying here are some other sites which are useful for you to look at and tell your parents or carers about.


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