‘You are not alone,’ says parenting charity on launch of social networking site for parents concerned about bullying
CONTACT: Parentline Plus press office 0151 643 0101
‘You are not alone’ is the message to parents concerned about bullying as national parenting charity Parentline Plus launches its new social networking site, www.besomeonetotell.org.uk.
The site aims to enable parents who have concerns about bullying both within and outside school to share experiences with each other and support each other, as well as enabling people to access support from Parentline Plus.
The website, which is part of the charity’s Be Someone To Tell anti-bullying campaign funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, is aimed at parents of children who have been or are being bullied and also parents who think their child may be involved in bullying others. It looks at the different roles involved in bullying and how the natural wish to fit in with their friends may lead the child into not speaking out when they witness bullying incidents, or being further drawn into bullying behaviour.
The site also includes moving case studies on people’s experiences of dealing with bullying. One parent who spoke of her situation is continually battling against the bullying of her teenage daughter, while another mum has spoken of dealing with her son being branded a bully until he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and a teacher has told of finding useful ways to tackle this sensitive subject at her inner city school.
Parentline Plus, which runs a free* confidential, 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222, did extensive research and obtained feedback from parents before setting up the website and it was found that there was a real need to define just what bullying is, what the difference is between an argument and a bullying incident and what the roles that are involved in bullying are.
The website, which will include a message board where parents will be able to share experiences and support each other, is set out in terms of school years, teenagers and young adults to help parents navigate their way round and find relevant information and support more easily.
It will also tackle the different types of bullying, including cyber bullying, physical bullying and bullying by exclusion - ignoring or leaving out.
Here is what some parents have told Parentline Plus about their experiences:
"We do still have problems and I do still feel worried about her at school. There are still girls who want to fight her. It’s very difficult for me… I do feel I am hypersensitive now and if Keira seems to be in a bad mood I think ‘who has said what to her?’. I can’t see an end to it."
"Before Joseph was on medication, if a child wound him up then he would retaliate physically… It’s still hard – many people don’t understand ADHD and it’s been given such a bad press… It would be so nice to go and meet parents with similar experiences and just cry or get it off your chest – anything as a release from all the pressures you come under."
Parentline Plus acting Chief Executive Lucy Edington said: "As a parent, one of the last things you want to find out is that your child is being bullied or is bullying others – it can be a daunting subject to come to terms with and to tackle. We want to send a strong message to parents who may be in these situations that they are not alone and they can access help and support from the parents here at Parentline Plus and also from other parents via our messageboards at our new social networking website www.besomeonetotell.org.uk."
The Be Someone To Tell website includes a range of useful features, including:
A bullying message board – a chance to talk parent to parent about issues of concern and to swap ideas and share experiences
A question and answer section showing some of the many questions that parents ask Parentline Plus about bullying and a chance for parents to submit any questions that they would like a Parentline Plus expert to respond to
A guide to understanding bullying, including identifying the signs of bullying, what to do, bullying out of school, bullying in school, guidance on what to do if your child is a bully and info on bullying by technology, whether that be via mobile phone or internet
Info on how to download or get printed copies of Parentline Plus’ three different leaflets on the subject of bullying – ‘Bullying - Prejudice and Indifference’, ‘Bullying via Internet and Mobile Phones’ and ‘Be Someone To Tell – What can I do if my child is being bullied?’
A list of useful links via relevant charities’ and organisations’ websites
Details of how to access further information and support from Parentline Plus, including the free* confidential, 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222, extended telephone support, email support via firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone groups, parenting groups and workshops and Parentline Plus’ other websites – www.parentlineplus.org.uk and www.gotateenager.org.uk
Parentline Plus has also just launched a social networking site for parents of teenagers – www.gotateenager.org.uk. This enables parents of teens to communicate online by sharing experiences, swapping ideas and supporting one another.
Meanwhile, as part of the research carried out by Parentline Plus prior to setting up the website, a group of year six children from schools in London were asked for their thoughts on coping with bullying:
"Bullying is somebody bigger than you actually picking on you because you are different, perhaps clever or intelligent… and they pick on them because they’re jealous of how well they’re doing at school. They make them feel bad by saying bad things about how clever they are."
"If it’s one day, I would tell my mum. If it happened the week after, I would tell my teacher and my mum, saying it keeps on happening. And if it still goes on, I’ll get my mum in, and I’ll tell my headmaster."
"In year five (my friend) was bullied. This boy, he kept chasing him up the hills, tripped him up and then, when he was in the ground, he’d kick him and laugh at him and say ‘I am laughing now!’...His mum wrote a letter in and they got it sorted out."
"People may bully because they are sad and lonely, or it probably gives them some power."
Notes to editor
Parentline Plus is a national charity that works for, and with, parents of children of all ages – even grown up children! We encourage parents to see that asking for help is a sign of strength, and work with them to offer practical solutions and to suggest ways to manage their particular situations and difficulties. We deliver this support through an innovative range of free, flexible, responsive services - shaped by parents for parents. Parentline Plus answers 112,000 calls a year on its Parentline.
Parentline Plus has been working closely with Contact a Family, the UK charity supporting parents with disabled children, to produce sections of this website.
The list of services
A free* confidential, 24-hour Parentline 0808 800 2222
A free textphone for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment 0800 783 6783Email support email@example.com
Parenting groups and workshops
A helpful, interactive website for parents www.parentlineplus.org.uk
An online community for parents www.parentlineplus.org.uk/community
An online one-stop shop for professionals www.parentlineplusforprofessionals.org.uk
A new website for parents concerned about bullying www.besomeonetotell.org.uk
A social networking site for parents of teenagers www.gotateenager.org.uk
Training for professionals
*Free from landlines and most mobile networks.
Call Parentline Plus national press office on 0151 643 0101 for further information or to set up an interview with a charity representative.
arentline Plus: 520 Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, Kentish Town, London NW5 1TL. Free Parentline: 0808 800 2222 Free textphone (for people who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment): 0800 783 6783 Web: www.parentlineplus.org.uk
Parentline Plus is the operating name of FamilyLives. Registered Company No 3817762 (limited by guarantee). Registered Charity Number 1077722.
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