top of page

Bullying – What are the signs and how can play therapy help?

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

It can be difficult to learn about your child being bullied, as a parent you may want to intervene and bring some resolution to the situation. However you have probably read that this may backfire and cause the bullying to get worse for your child.

Despite all of the debate and awareness around bullying, many children still face being bullied. With modernisation and social media, bullying has morphed into something even more sinister than before. What can we do as parents to help our children when they find themselves the target of another person's cruelty, physical or online aggression?

Is Your Child or Teen Being Bullied? Know the Signs.

Most children are not going to come home and tell you straight away that they are in a difficult situation, let alone that they are being bullied. There are many reasons your child may not want to open up to you about it. One being the fear that you may want to get involve and further escalate the situation. They will often keep it to themselves. There will however be tell-tale signs that you can look out for.

Your child may be

  • relectuant to go to school or use their computer

  • visibly upset after using their mobile phone

  • asking to change their mode of transport, or asking you to drop them off at a different entrance

  • feeling sick, saying they have a tummy ache or bad headaches and will want to stay home from school

  • anxious, depressed, or withdrawn

Other signs you may also notice include

  • damaged or missing belongings, or that your child/teen keeps losing money or other valuable items

  • unexplained injuries or bruises

  • your child is skipping meals at school

While your child or teen may exhibit one or more of above signs, it might not necessarily mean that your child is being bullied. These types of behaviours are worth paying attention to especially if you notice a sudden onset of them.

What if your child is the bully?

On the flip side, you may found out that your child is the bully instead. Often times, the bully is experiencing some kind of hurt. Bullying is a way for them to take "control" of a situation and gain some "power" where they would often feel out of control or powerless. This is an over generalisation because a person's motive to bully is sometimes complicated and varies from bully to bully. As a parent, the best thing that you can do is to make sure your child receives support and finds a healthy way to relate to other people respectfully.

How Play Therapy can help.

Play therapy is often recommended in both situations because it is through Play Therapy that your child can explore feelings such as anger, sadness, jealousy and other emotions experienced in a calm and safe environment where zero judgements are made. The "Play" in play therapy offers your child or teen the opportunity and space to get to know and understand where these feelings come from.

When your child or teen is able to understand and explore these emotions and feelings in a safe space, they are afforded the ability to be vulnerable - something that is often not valued in our society. There is also this element of your child/teen understanding the naunces of social relationships and gives them a chance to practice skills such as conflict resolution.

Do you think your Teen or Child could benefit from therapy? Speak to a qualified Play therapist to learn how your Teen or Child could benefit from play therapy, Click here to get in touch today, or if you want to know if Play Therapy could be suitable for your Teen or Child, click here to take our quiz!

44 views0 comments


bottom of page