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How we can help to beat the pain.

WE know the agonising pain that can be caused to children being bullied, not necessarily physical bullying such as hitting or kicking but name calling and sending to Coventry.

They're the thousand pin pricks which amount to mental cruelty, particularly for young people because they are so sensitive to what other people think of them.

Bullying is one of the most common problems that children ring ChildLine about. When we had our own bullying line it was inundated.

ChildLine has various packs and pieces of advice about strategies and ways children and families can deal with this.

The tragedy is often the child's family know what is happening but incredibly, many schools remain old-fashioned in their approach.

There should be a "no blame" approach because sometimes bullies don't realise the intense pain they cause.

Teachers should call together all involved in an incident and get the children to write down how it makes them feel.

Teachers can read it aloud to all the children even if they were not directly involved. This uses the whole strength of the class to support the child.

Eating disorders like anorexia do need expert help and having support from the Spice Girls can help this child.

But in the end the only person who can help this girl is herself.

She has to believe her family need her and love her and that she is precious to them. She has got to learn to live again and start eating to save herself and it may be that her story can help others.



DO you suffer from school bullies or know someone who does? Phone the Sunday People news desk on 0171 293 3201 or write to Bullies, Sunday People, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5AP.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Founder, ESTHER RANTZEN ChildLine
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 5, 1998
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