Working with families
Families have a significant role in influencing their children and modelling positive behaviours.
Schools and families can work together to teach social and emotional skills that promote healthy relationships. Educators can play a role in helping families understand the risks associated with bullying and what they can do to help prevent it.
The kind of family circumstances that make it less likely that children will be bullied are those that are characterised by significant parental involvement with their children and good communication between the child and their family. By working in partnership with families, schools can help to build knowledge and understanding about the importance of family involvement within the school community, sharing strategies to promote good relationships and communicating school approaches to tackling bullying.
How can schools work productively with families to tackle issues of bullying?
Be You’s Family Partnerships domain helps educators understand how to work effectively, sensitively and confidentially with families to foster the mental health of children and young people. The Inquire module explores topics like communicating and sharing concerns with families.
When students are supported to develop respectful peer and adult relationships, respect and embrace diversity, and understand their own feelings and needs as well as those of others, the risk of conflict and relationship problems escalating into bullying behaviour can be reduced.
Byers, D., Caltabiano, N., & Caltabiano, M. (2011). Teachers’ attitudes toward overt and covert bullying, and perceived efficacy to intervene. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 36: 11, 105-119.
Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and Social and Emotional Learning Research Group. (2009). Social and Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention.
Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hearn, L., Epstein, M., Monks, H., Lester, L., & Thomas, L. (2009). Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS). Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth.
Bullot A., Cave, L., Fildes, J., Hall, S. and Plummer, J. (2017). Mission Australia’s 2017 Youth Survey Report, Mission Australia.
Konishi, C., Hymel, S., Zumbo, B. D. and Li Z. (2010) ‘Do school bullying and student-teacher relations matter for academic achievement?: A Multilevel Analysis’, Canadian Journal of School Psychology, Vol.25, pp.19-39.
Lodge, J. (2008). Working with families concerned with school based-bullying. Australian Family Relationships Clearinghouse Briefing, 11, 1-9.
McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2018) (3rd ed), BOUNCE BACK! A Positive Education Approach to Wellbeing, Resilience & Social–emotional Learning, Pearson Education, Melbourne (3 volumes: Level 1(Years F-2), Level 2 (Yrs 3-4) a& Level 3 (Years 5-6) + online interactive whiteboard materials)
McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2018). Bounce Back! A positive education approach to enhancing wellbeing, resilience and social-emotional learning in the primary years. Scan,37(3). Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/professional-learning/scan/past-issues/vol-37/bounce-back!-a-positive-education-approach
Rigby, K , (2010) Bullying interventions in schools: Six major methods. Camberwell: ACER.
Ronning, J., Sourander, A., Kumpulainen, K., Tamminen, T., Niemela, S., Moilanen, I., et al. (2009). Cross-informant agreement about bullying and victimization among eight year olds: Whose information best predicts psychiatric caseness 10-15 years later? Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology, 44(1), 15-22.
Spears, B., Keeley, M., Bates, S., & Katz. I. (2014). Research on youth exposure to, and management of, cyberbullying incidents in Australia: Part A – Literature review on the estimated prevalence of cyberbullying involving Australian minors (SPRC Report 9/2014). Sydney: Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Australia.
Spears, B., Taddeo, C., Daly, A.L., Stretton, A. & Karklins, L.T. (2015). Cyberbullying, help-seeking and mental health in young Australians: implications for public health. International Journal of Public Health, Vol. 60(2), 219–226.
Ttofi, M.M., Farrington, D.P., & Lösel, F. (2012). School bullying as a predictor of offending and violence in later life: A systematic review of prospective longitudinal studies, in Bernal, A.O., Jimenez, S.Y., & Smith, P.K. (Eds.), School bullying and violence: International Perspectives. Madrid, Spain: Biblioteca Nueva.
Van Geel, M., Vedder, P. & Tanilon, J. (2014). Relationship between peer victimization, cyberbullying, and suicide in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. Journal of American Medical Association Paediatrics, 168(5): 435–42.
What schools can do about bullying
In a situation in which a child or young person is identified as a target of bullying, educators should act quickly and follow your learning community’s policies and procedures relating to bullying.