Bullying Solutions: When Your Child is Being Covertly Nudged, Bumped & Tripped

Franki Hobson


May 02, 2020

In this Anti-Bullying series, The Carousel has spoken with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating effects, and the National Centre Against Bullying, an initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, to give advice on your bullying experiences.  

This week, Peta, 40, asks for advice about handling physically intimidating team mates.


Q “My 9 year-old daughter has just started with the local netball team, which is her first team sport. Two of the girls, star players, are deliberately bumping into her and tripping her up, then pretending it’s an accident. I raised my concerns to the coach about it but she claimed it was accidental. My daughter really wants to stay on the team, as her best friend plays too, but I’m not sure what to do.” Peta, 40, mum to Holly, 9.

A “Have you asked your daughter whether she thinks the other girls are bumping into her deliberately? Maybe it is just an accident. But if it isn’t, you and the coach have some working out to do, as it’s their responsibility to make the team environment a safe one for the children and ensure they play fairly as well as learning skills. Make time for a meeting away from the noise and bustle of the netball court so you have a better opportunity to discuss things. There is probably an overall organiser for teams in the area and if you can’t gain satisfaction from the coach, it might be worthwhile taking your concerns to a higher level.”

What is bullying?

According to the National Centre Against Bullying, an initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, bullying is defined as “when an individual or a group of people with more power, repeatedly and intentionally cause hurt or harm to another person or group of people who feel helpless to respond. Bullying can continue over time, is often hidden from adults, and will probably continue if no action is taken.” This is a frightening reality for any child and parent.

Dealing with bullies…

The NCAB sees bullying as “a relationship problem which requires relationship-based solutions” and advises that “these are best solved in the social environment in which they occur. In a child or young person’s life, this is most often the school.” This means the place to start is in the environment where it occurred.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating effects. For more information on bullying, visit www.amf.org.au

Need more help?

Great Australian resources for parents can be found at:

  • National Centre Against Bullying
  • The Alannah and Madeline Foundation
  • Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Youth BeyondBlue

If your child needs to speak to someone about their experience Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25, Kids Helpline can be contacted on 1800 551 800.

Dandelion is an original anti-bullying story by award-winning Digital Agency Protein One that encourages parents and children to discuss the issue of bullying. Dandelion does not offer a solution as bullying comes in many forms, yet Benjamin’s story communicates the importance of keeping your confidence when those around you aim to destroy it. Dandelion is available on the AppStore and published by randomhouse.com.au

For more anti bullying tips click here.

Produced by Protein
Created & Written by Galvin Scott Davis.
Illustrated by Anthony Ishinjerro.
Music by Hylton Mowday
Narration by Linal Haft 
Animation by Marvinsane, animation assist Dale Emrose.


By Franki Hobson


Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships. Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.


The Carousel