ACP member offers advice on bullying

Child and adolescent psychotherapist Ben Lloyd gave his expert opinion for the most recent Problem Solved column published online and in Saturday's Family section of the Guardian.

The real life scenario he was asked to comment on featured a 10-year-old girl who, unbeknown to her parents, was bullied at school and had regular sustained tantrums when she got home.

Although the bullying was eventually discovered the girl's behaviour deteriorated at school with her parents reporting that she was answering back to teachers and playing the class fool.

Despite her parents believing this behaviour was as a result of bullying, the girl's school disagreed saying the bullying had stopped and her behaviour at school was now the problem. Her parents also reported that their daughter's tantrums at home were getting worse and that she was becoming increasingly physical.

Ben advises the parents to question if bullying was a symptom or the cause of the behaviour. "A task of parenting is to help channel ordinary, healthy aggression and help a child to regulate their own emotions that are in the first place unfamiliar to them. It sounds as though your daughter has not been able to develop a way of tolerating ordinary enough frustrations that are necessary for emotional development to take place."

Read the article in full here