Helping Your Teen Effectively Deal with Bullying
Bullying is something that is, unfortunately, happening far too often in our society. Gone are the days when a few bullies per school picked on kids but were kept in place by teachers and societal norms.
The innovation of modern technology, although it has benefits, has brought along with it some very negative circumstances – one of them being widespread bullying. Here is how you, as a parent, can help your teen deal with this difficult situation.
Why Do People Bully?
Bullying happens when someone directs their hurt, anger, and frustration at another individual. Perhaps the bully feels invisible and is being ignored or hurt by important people in their lives.
Low self-esteem, difficult home situations, jealousy, and intolerant ways of thinking can cause an individual to use bullying as their way to relieve their anger or make themselves feel more important by belittling others. There are as many reasons for bullying as there are bullies.
Why Does Bullying Seem to Be So Common?
Bullying has always been around, but it has grown out of hand with the creation and popularity of the internet and social media. Instead of teens being able to escape bullying when they leave school or extracurricular activities, their issues follow them everywhere. Online stalking is becoming more common, where bullies will follow and harass their victims and refuse to leave them alone.
Another reason for the amped-up bullying that is taking place can be attributed to more interactions among people, leading to attacks on people for what they believe by small-minded individuals.
What Bullying Does to a Child
Being bullied lowers a child’s self-esteem. It causes them to feel insecure and is a catalyst for depression and anger. Bullying can eventually lead to the victim becoming a bully to take back the power from those who hurt them.
Teens who are bullied find it difficult to trust anyone, and this feeling often lasts into adulthood.
How to Help Your Bullied Child
Teach your child about their rights as an individual. If your child is being discriminated against and made to feel unsafe, the law is on their side. Hate crimes are illegal. Every teen may feel safe and free from the threat of violence.
If your teen is being bullied, contact the authorities, whether the authorities at school or the police. Train your child in the proper way to deal with bullies and role-play different scenarios to assist your child in finding their voice and means of fighting back.
Monitor your child’s internet use, and ensure that he (or she) is not being threatened or intimidated by others. Above all, teach your teen to trust his intuition. If he is adequately responding to bullying but realizes that it is not working, let him know it is ok to change his course of action partway through an interaction.
If your teen is being bullied, you are his greatest advocate. Use your voice to stand up for your child and be his safe place to land when he needs someone to talk to. Let your teen know he is important and worth protecting.
Helping Your Teen Effectively Deal with Bullying
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