Being bullied is a serious matter, but it can be especially hard for teenagers to cope with. As a parent, it is hard to watch your child going through something so painful and upsetting.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to help your child deal with the situation.
Identifying the Signs of Bullying
The first step is to know the signs of bullying. Bullying is a purposeful, repetitive act. It is aimed at a specific person or group, over a period of time. With the ever-increasing use of technology, bullying no longer stops once children get home.
“In the past, you would be able to come home, close the door and have some respite from the bullying,” explains Susan Rowell, a psychology writer at Draftbeyond.com and Researchpapersuk.com. “Now, social networking sites and cell phones, mean that kids have no escape from it. Bullies can target their victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This often leads to widespread and long-lasting bullying.”
Your child might feel ashamed or worried about telling you they are being bullied, but there are some signs you can look out for. Are there any changes in their mood? Are they reluctant to go to school? Does their mood change after going online or checking their phone? Do they have unexplained injuries or bruises? Are they frequently unwell or having sleep problems? Have they started to do poorly at school?
What You Can Do When Your Teen is Being Bullied
Talk Openly With Your Child
The most important thing you can do as a parent is to reassure your child that it is not their fault and that you are there to help and support them. Start an open conversation with your child and listen carefully to what they have to say, how the bullying has made them feel and react. Let them know that they don’t have to go through the experience alone and that you will be there to support them whenever they need it.