Helping Your Child With Bullying At School

bullying at school1

Reading time: 5 minutes

Suitable for: Families of primary-age children

Read the secondary-age version of this QUICK READ

We now—thankfully—take bullying a lot more seriously than in the past when it might have been dismissed as “all part of growing up”, “banter”, “just a little teasing”, or “character building”.

Bullying is different from falling out with friends. It's a deliberate decision by the perpetrator to upset or hurt the victim.


  • Intentional: The behaviour is deliberate and targeted
  • Repetitive: It happens frequently and can feel relentless
  • Powerful: The person bullying has power over the person being bullied

Find out more about bullying.

Types of bullying at school

Particular types of bullying that take place inside school include:

  • Name-calling
  • Spreading rumours
  • Intimidating behaviour
  • Threats of, or actual physical harm
  • Peer pressure to do things they don’t want to

Bullying can also happen over social media and through messages. This is known as online bullying or cyberbullying.

Signs your child is a victim of bullying

It can be hard to spot bullying, but perhaps you've noticed a change in your child's behaviour, or just have a nagging feeling that something isn't right.

Signs can include:

  • A dip in their mood, or seeming low a lot of the time
  • Becoming withdrawn from friends and family or becoming secretive
  • Physical signs of harm, such as bruises or cuts
  • Their stuff has been going missing or their belongings always seem to be getting broken
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Not wanting to go to school when they used to be happy to do so
  • Not wanting to talk about school when before they would chat about it

These signs do not automatically mean your child is being bullied, but they do tell you that something isn't right.


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