10 Tips to Help Your Teen Overcome Bullying

Ways to Keep Your Teen from Becoming a Victim of Bullying

mother sees online bullying of daughter
Nick White/Cultura/Getty Images

In this day and age, bullying is no longer a kid pushing around another kid on the playground, although that is still happening. Bullying is defined as deliberate and hurtful behavior, usually repeated over a period of time. Bullying is almost always done to kids who are perceived to be more vulnerable than the bullies, or in the case of cyber bullies the anonymous factor leaves every child and teen vulnerable.

The harassment, taunting, emotional and physical abuse can hurt another person to the point of doing irrevocable harm. It's even gone online which is opened up a whole new world dubbed cyberbullying. We’ve all seen the mean girls fight videos on YouTube and read the news about the kids being shot or stabbed at school or teens committing suicide after a Facebook post or Instagram photo. The time is ripe for you to make sure your teen does fall into any of the consequences of bullying, be it online, at school, or anywhere else. While bullying may still happen in schools across the country, its time you teach your teen how to nip it in the bud. Adults who are in charge need to step in and take care of the victim and address the issue with the perpetrators. Teach both your teen, and school administrators that you will not tolerate any type of bullying behavior towards your teen or around him or her.

Bullying Statistics

An American Justice Department study shows 1 in 4 youths are bullied. Thirty percent (30%) of U.S. students in grades six through ten are involved in moderate or frequent bullying — as bullies, as victims, or as both. It really is enough of a problem for parents to start calling for action on the part of the schools their children and teens attend.

Imagine if this number is true of the school where your child attends, how many of their friends or acquaintances have witnessed bullying behavior. You, with the help of other parents, have to be the one that says no more.

Four Types of Bullying

Bullying comes in many forms. There are four major types. These are:

  • Physical
  • Verbal
  • Emotional
  • Cyber bullying

Bullying can be experienced in any combination of the four types of bullying. Being bullied can make children feel lonely, unhappy and unsafe. Children who are being bullied may develop stomach aches, nightmares, nervousness and anxiety and carry the pain years after the bullying has ended.

What Parents Can Do to Help Their Child Deal with a Bully

If you think your child is having problems with a bully at school or in your neighborhood, there are things you can do to help them. Here is a list of 10 tips that have been known to help parents help their child deal with bullies and mean girls:

  1. Be on your child's side. Send a clear message to the bully and school administrators by taking everything your teen says about what has happened to them seriously. Tell your teen what you intend to do to help and reassure them that you can do something about this bullying problem. In this way, your child will feel more confident that the problem is not theirs alone and will be better able to handle it with your help.
  1. Do not allow your child to place the blame of the incident on themselves. Reassure them that it is not their fault. Victims will sometime turn the fault in on themselves; help your child place the blame where it belongs, directly on the bully.
  2. While it is natural to want to protect your child by solving the problem for him, after you have taken actions, teach him strategies to solve the problem in the future. By learning the skills to stand up for himself, he can use them in other situations.
  3. Get an update, talk about what else can be done and discuss what actions you can both take to solve the problem. Reassure her you will consult her before taking any action.
  1. Speak up. If your child is being physically threatened, you have no choice but to let someone know. But if your child is not being physically threatened, talk to them about ways they can handle the situations they are being placed in. Role play different situations and things that can be said to a bully, like "Leave me alone." then walking away.
  2. Have your child go everywhere with friends when they normally see a bully. There is safety in numbers.
  3. Encourage your child to be socially active in hobbies and other community activities so that they do develop some good friendships and self-confidence.
  4. Meet with teachers with your child and the bully's parents to get the full scope of the problem and you will have to meet with them and their superiors to discuss it. If your child or teen is being harassed, you may also want to call in the police.
  5. Throw out all of your old thoughts about bullying. Look at the situation with a fresh perspective and think about what's best for your child, not how you or your family handled it when you were a child. It is not a normal part of childhood. Your child does not need to toughen up. Bullying is violent behavior that should not be tolerated.
  6. Don't demonize bullies. Don't fight evil with evil, after you've secured your child's protection don't encourage your child to bully the bully. Many bully's may have harsh home environments or may also be abused. Teach your child to have empathy for the pain the bully may be projecting through hurting others.

Continue Reading