Teens and Bullying: Your Contribution to Your Child’s Safety

The bullying pandemic has been attracting a fair bit of attention for quite some time now, though in all honesty, the results haven’t been very encouraging so far. The bullies seem to be adapting quite well to the stringent rules introduced to disarm them.  Much to the woe of victims and parents alike, the popularity of social media and prevalence of cell phones has made the problem even worse. Gloomy as the situation may seem, you still have the power to change it for the better. You simply need to recognize and explore the many ways to prevent bullying and act on them.

Talk to teens about bullying

You need to realize that bullying is just as big a threat to your child as drugs, alcohol, underage and unprotected sex, etc. Only after you’ve realized it yourself can you help your child understand its consequences. With the child onboard, the question of “how can we prevent bullying” becomes much easier to answer. While talking to your teen about bullying, make sure you explain the implications for both the victims as well as the perpetrators. Have the talk with your kid as soon as possible to prepare them against the threat.

Keep the lines of communication open

Letting your teen know that you’re there and that they can come to you with their problems anytime they want is extremely important. It is typical of teens to keep their problems hidden from their parents as they attempt to fight their battles on their own. However, developing a strong sense of trust and assuring them that you’re on their side may encourage them to come to you for help and guidance. Make sure you always take their complaints against bullying seriously. Discounting their feelings or even coming off as distracted can make your teen have second thoughts about approaching you for help.

Limit use of technology

Over the years, bullying has expanded from schoolyards to cyberspace, an area that is hardly policed by adults. In order to keep your teen from attracting the attention of bullies online, keeping them becoming screen junkies. Bullies feel empowered on Internet and therefore are generally more and active on it. Teaching your child how to react in case of a bullying situation may be useful, but it’s not completely fool-proof. Installing a monitoring software on their phone or computer can encourage them to act responsibly online, and also allow to you to detect a problematic situation early.

Take immediate action

In order to defeat a threat as persistent as bullying, you need to actively combat it. If you discover that your child is being bullied, take whatever steps are necessary to put an end to their torment. Approach the school administration or the bully’s parents if you must. If your own teen is the perpetrator, reprimand them. Also try to get them to tell you why they’re behaving so inappropriately. You may be able to help them out. If you’ve done everything you possibly can to help your victim or bully kid, then keep your options open. Be ready to take a drastic step such as changing their school if the situation isn’t improving. Getting professional help for your child may also help.

Desiring a bully-free adolescent experience for your kid is understandable, that’s not something that they may always be blessed with irrespective of your efforts. However, the least you can do is start preparing them for the worst so that when and if they find themselves in such a situation, they are ready for it.

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