There’s a lot of advice available about bullying. In Firefly’s work on special needs family participation, we’ve found lots of information on bullying and exclusion.

If you ever need it (hopefully not), you’ll get it from charities, health organisations, schools and all over the internet.

So, thankfully, support is there.

But of all the advice that exists, there’s not a lot about how you should help your child understand why this bullying is happening.

You can advise them on how to help make it stop, to reassure them that you’re there for them and you’ll help. But how do you help them understand why it’s happening in the first place? 

A report from the British Journal of Educational Psychology reported that 46% of bullying victims had suffered long-term problems as a result of earlier bullying. 

So after the bruises fade and the tears dry, the bullying still hurts for a long time.

Shouldn’t helping children understand bullying be just as important as making it stop?

Wouldn’t that heal some of the long term damage?

That goes for all children, but especially for children with disabilities or special educational needs.

survey by organisations the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Contact a Family showed the vast majority of responses (96%) were from parents whose child had been bullied at school.

Nearly all respondents (85%) believed this bullying was because their child had disabilities or SEN.

Those disheartening numbers back-up what we already know; bullies pick on people perceived to be different, often to feel better about themselves.

Unfortunately, children with disabilities or SEN are among the most isolated in our society and that means some bullies will see them as targets.

But try explaining that to any child.

The answer isn’t clear. Do we just tell our children “bullies make you feel bad because they feel bad,” and hope they get it? Will that be enough?

Firefly Community would like to hear how you helped your child deal with bullying. Comment below or email [email protected]

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