Children and Bullying – How do their Parents React?

Ray MartinChief Executive Officer, Americas
March 22, 2013, 4:23 PM GMT+0

Much is heard on the news about bullying in schools, particularly about the consequences and effects on the children involved. Currently, there is considerable media emphasis on recent suicides related to bullying and the roles of both the victim and the bully. How do the parents of these children feel about bullying and what are their actions to prevent this problem?

According to a recent Omnibus survey, responders identified how they would react if a teacher or another parent accused their child of bullying. Two thirds (66%) of parents would be surprised at the accusation but they would be willing to listen to their evidence. 13% would have reactions that depending on the other child in question and 7% would assume that the accusation was some kind of mistake.

Parents were then asked what their first action would be if they found out that their child was bullying. 35% stated that they would spend time trying to understand why the bullying happened. 18% would insist that their child apologize and 15% would arrange a meeting with the school counselor to discuss the situation.

In more extreme cases, parents described various circumstances in which they would turn their child into authorities. 68% of parents responded that a situation involving security camera footage of their children shooting someone would warrant turning them in. Other situations that warranted turning their children in were: Finding valuable stolen property in their possession (57%), finding hard drugs or illegal substances in their bedroom (35%), and finding a gun in their possession (34%). However, 14% admitted that they would never turn their children into the authorities.

The survey also indicated an important finding. Over four times as many people felt that their child was the victim, rather than the bully. That leaves the question of whether each bully is hurting a lot of people or people don't always recognize the failings of their own children.

For further information about poll results, and for details about methodology and Omnibus services, please email

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