Only 17% of Children Trust Dad for Advice About Bullying

By Relate For Parents, PRNE
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bullying a Major Concern for Kids

LONDON, March 15, 2010 - New research out today reveals that while most dads (61%) feel
comfortable giving advice to their children about bullying only 1 in 5 (17%)
children trust their dad's advice on this topic. However 6 out of 10 (59%)
children would trust their mum's advice.

Research conducted by Relate for Parents, a website dedicated to helping
parents with their family relationships, reveals that bullying is a major
concern to over half of children (51%) surveyed, with more boys (59%) worried
than girls, and this issue is ranked higher than relationships (20%), drugs
(17%) and sex (11%).

The survey also reveals that 74% of children consider their mum to be a
role model and 58% of children see their dad as a role model.

Lin Griffiths, Family Counsellor at Relate for Parents, said: "It's very
encouraging that dads feel comfortable talking to their children about
bullying, and children are willing to seek advice. However it is a concern
that children don't trust the advice they are hearing from their dads. Like
most parents, dad's are bound to feel protective of their children. It is
possible that the advice that some dads give - "stand up for yourself"; "tell
your teacher"; "I'll sort him/her out"; "give as good as you get"; although
well meaning, could be seen as another pressure on their son or daughter.
Despite this lack of trust, 58% of children still look up to their father as
a role model."

With children turning to the internet for advice on personal issues, less
than one in five dads (18%) know if their children are seeking advice online,
despite 74% of dads saying that they would rather their children came to
them. However, with only half of dads regularly making time to talk to their
children, the first step for some fathers may be for them to dedicate more
time to talking with and listening to their children.

To help parents with their family relationships, Relate for Parents has
launched the new Relate for Parents website,, which provides online support and expert
help for parents and families.'s top five tips on giving advice to

    - Listen to your children. Really listen to their problems and individual
      concerns. You might know that it's part of teenage life to break-up
      with friends and have fights, but for your child it is a real
      experience happening to them and they will want to know you are taking
      them seriously.
    - Be consistent in what you say and do. It sounds obvious but say what
      you mean and mean what you say. Children are very good at noticing when
      you don't follow through on your own advice. However that doesn't mean
      you have to be perfect. In fact it is good for your children to see
      you admit your mistakes and don't be afraid to apologise.
    - Make time. Sitting down and talking to your children shouldn't just be
      reserved for the big things, if they feel they can talk to you easily
      about the small things, this might help when they have big concerns.
    - Don't make promises you can't keep. Children remember broken promises
      and this is something that can damage their trust in you. It is better
      to make no promises at all than ones you think you might break.
    - Your children will not love you less if you don't have answers to all
      their difficulties. They will feel supported just by the fact that you
      have listened and understood their struggle.

Relate for Parents provides support and advice for more than 10,000
parents each month, including step-parents, adoptive parents, aunts, uncles,
grandparents and siblings. Free and confidential online support, including
live chats and email responses real life stories, videos and podcasts are
also available at as well as the new and
unique Family Mapping tool, which helps parents understand their situation
and how they can make changes for the better.

    Notes to Editors

    - For more information visit the new
    - Statistics from Independent research carried out in February 2010 with
      parents and children aged 9-16
    - Relate for Parents helps more than 10,000 parents a month.
    - Relate for Parents in part of Relate, the UK's largest provider of
      relationship counselling. The charity supports 150,000 people each
      year providing couple counselling, family counselling, counselling
      for young people, online counselling, sex therapy and relationship
      skills workshops.

Relate for Parents is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and
Families as part of the Family Information Direct programme.

For further information, please contact Marie O'Connor/Sandrine Powell,
Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger - Relate for Parents PR agency:
+44(0)113-237-2821 / +44(0)7769-964-993/ +44(0)7770-620597 or

For further information, please contact Marie O'Connor/Sandrine Powell, Ptarmigan Bell Pottinger - Relate for Parents PR agency, +44(0)113-237-2821 / +44(0)7769-964-993/ +44(0)7770-620597 or marie at at

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