Supporting children who engage in bullying

Runtime 00:24:07
Released 3/4/23
Emerging Minds Podcast
Emerging Minds Podcast
Supporting children who engage in bullying

Children who engage in bullying behaviour may protest their behaviour through denial or minimisation when asked about it. Children who engage in bullying behaviour usually have values and preferences for interacting with others that don’t involve bullying behaviour. Practitioners can work with children to move past these protests by opening up conversations about children’s values, preferences and things that are important to them. By supporting children to recognise these values and preferences, they can then be supported to contrast their values with the bullying behaviour and helped to engage in more values led behaviours in the future.

This episode is part two of a two-part series on supporting the mental health of children who experience or engage in bullying behaviour. In this episode, Nicole Rollbusch talks to Jessica Staniland, clinical psychologist and Director of Counselling and Psychological Services at Trinity Grammar School. Jessica shares some of the key considerations for supporting the mental health of children who engage in bullying behaviour. She discusses how practitioners can work through children’s protests and support them to engage in conversation. Jessica talks about the importance of recognising children’s preferences and values and how practitioners can help children to draw these out. How to supportively contrast their values with bullying behaviour to bring about behaviour change is also discussed. The practice strategies shared are also applied to a fictional case study throughout the episode.



In this episode you will learn:

  • key considerations for working with children who engage in bullying behaviour [02:14]
  • how to engage with children despite their protests [04:26]
  • how to uncover a child’s values and preferences [09:10]
  • the importance of sensitively contrasting the child’s values and their bullying behaviour, and supporting children to do this [12:10]
  • how to support children to engage in future values-led behaviours and the importance of including the child’s family [15:59].


Further information and resources:

Online courses

Understanding childhood bullying and mental health

Practice strategies for childhood bullying



Childhood bullying and mental health – part one

Childhood bullying and mental health – part two

Supporting children who experience bullying



Working with children who are experiencing or engaging in bullying behaviour


Practice papers

Key considerations for practitioners responding to childhood bullying

Primary health support for bullying in the middle years: Learnings for practitioners

Working with families to prevent bullying

Exploring bullying in context: Children’s relationships, friendships and social functioning

Supporting families to navigate school responses to bullying

Identifying and responding to bullying in the pre-teen years: The role of primary health care practitioners



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