Charity warns of a rise in cases of cyber-bullying during school summer holidays

Cyber-bullying is an issue that goes on throughout the year, however, with more time on their hands during the summer to go online, parents often wonder if their child is a victim of intimidation and aggression.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children has noticed that calls to Childline on bullying increase before and after the summer holidays.

The NSPCC has said that is does become a worrying issue for parents this time of year because the internet provides the platform for bullying to happen.

It has been noted that it is easier to spot the signs of bullying in the playground, however, this is not so easy outside of school.

The NSPCC has given a checklist of signs to look out for during the holidays:

What is bullying?
:: Name calling :: Teasing, humiliating or putting someone down :: Being pushed or pulled about :: Having money and other things taken :: Rumours being spread about you :: Being ignored or left out :: Being hit, kicked or physically hurt :: Threatening or intimidating someone :: Bullying through phone or online :: Being nervous, losing confidence, becoming distressed or withdrawn;:: Problems with sleeping or eating;:: Bullying others.

If a parent does suspect their child has fallen victim to bullying, they struggle with how to deal with it during the summer as there is no support from the school.

Darren Worth, supervisor at Childline Leeds, said: "If you're not sure about whether your child is being bullied the best way to start that conversation is by letting them know what bullying is as some children may not see what's happening to them as bullying.

"Let them know they can talk to you about anything, but it's important to stay calm and listen to them carefully. Sometimes children and young people can feel scared, embarrassed or ashamed about being bullied and they won't want you to jump to any conclusions or react badly."

"We always like to think our children can talk to us about anything – particularly about any worries they may have – but this isn't always easy for them. It can be worth reminding them that they can speak to a trained counsellor in Childline, over the phone, online or via our app For Me.

"Childline can help them start talking about the problem, and how to find a solution. This can often involve them talking to a parent or other trusted adult who may be able to help."

Michel ColaciComment