Anti Bully week – Investigating a potential problem In the previous blogs we discussed what bullying is and telltale signs a victim of bullying may show.In this blog we will discuss what you can do to prevent bullying in the first place or stopping it from getting worse. First of all, it is not wrong for you to check your child’s diary/notes/Facebook/twitter and other areas where they may share information about themselves and their emotions. It is not a way of punishing them, it is a way of keeping them safe and stopping any potential problems such as bullying getting any worse.Children like to write things down quite a lot, whether that be in a diary or scraps of paper or in the border of their text books. Just checking on a regular basis could give you a good idea about any stresses and worries your child may be suffering. The online menace Many children, especially teens, are now on social media, even though many sites like Facebook have a minimum age of 13. The internet is NOT harmless.Think about this question for a few moments; would you send your child into a room with many complete strangers without your supervision? Think that the other people there could be anyone including criminals, predators and so on.But many parents let their child online without ever checking what they are doing. The internet has those same people that could have been in that room. Even worse is that those same strangers can hide behind any disguise they wish to take. Worse still, people who target your child for a friend request or chat is more likely to have ill intentions in mind, whether that be they are older or another child they know who just wishes to bully them.The quickest way to prevent this is not allow social media access and not allow them to have a computer in their room where they can do whatever they like on it. Best to have it somewhere you can watch and monitor their online activities. Remember it’s keeping them safe that count. The friend who is just too friendly Having friends is a great boost for confidence and self worth for children and at MAC we encourage friendships between the juniors. However not everyone who your child may think is a friend is actually a friend. We have already discussed the ‘online friend’ who may not be who they say they are. This section is about the ‘friend’ (and I use this term lightly) that is very manipulative, the friend who convinces other children who have very little confidence and those that struggle to say no, to do what is wrong. They may ask to borrow things without returning them, or even physically abuse them while telling the victim that is what friends do.Investigating your child’s friends can help stop this. Listening to a few conversations or watching from a window when they don’t know you are there can give you a huge amount of information about the other child. Remember if you see something you don’t like, such as a punch or push, swearing, or taking your child’s possessions without asking, it probably isn’t the first time it happened and it won’t be the last unless you stop it. It isn’t an invasion of privacy; it is keeping your child safe.