Don't suffer bullying in silence
At Childline, we often get a rise in the number of bullying calls in the weeks before and after the summer holidays.
We don’t know why this happens – maybe it’s because those being bullied are finally at the point where they’re ready to reach out for help, maybe it’s the feeling of change bringing up tensions in friendship groups – but whatever the reason it can certainly be an upsetting experience for young people.
One young person contacted us and said: “I’ve been bullied most of my life – I’ve been threatened, beat up and am regularly put down by others.
“I don’t know what’s changed, but recently my best friend has been threatening me, spreading rumours and has said she’s going to tell my boyfriend I’m seeing someone behind his back. It’s making me so depressed and I cry myself to sleep sometimes – I’ve also started to skip school because I just can’t face the bullying anymore.”
It can be particularly hard when young people experience bullying at the end of the school year – whether they’re moving up to another school or just progressing to the next year, the sense of change can be unsettling even under the most positive of circumstances.
When they also have to start the summer holidays having been subjected to bullying, this can cast a shadow over what should be a well-deserved break from school. It can also increase feelings of isolation, particularly when those bullying them were previously considered friends.
We have lots of suggestions for children experiencing bullying on the Childline website, including ways to help build confidence, standing up to bullies and blocking contact from bullies on any devices.
As with everything else young people and children contact us about, we also advise that they speak to someone about what they’re going through and how they’re feeling.
Bullying can make young people feel very confused, angry and alone – and simply by talking about it with someone they trust or with a Childline counsellor, they can often find a solution that woks for them.
For free confidential advice contact Childline on 0800 1111 or www.childline.org.uk.