What To Do If Your Teen Is Being Bull...

What To Do If Your Teen Is Being Bullied, Excerpt from new Teen Health book

Posted in the Rowland Heights Forum


Lomita, CA

#1 Nov 5, 2013
With teen violence and bullying an ever-growing issue in school and home life, it’s vital to know how to assess these issues as a parent. First, you must recognize the problem and then deal with it – know when to reach out to others for help. Below are a couple pointers on how to handle violence and bullying as outlined in IHA’s new book “What To Do For Your Teen’s Health.”

There are a number of identifiable signs of violence. Violence ranges from hurting others to hurting yourself – it can be physical, verbal, sexual, or all of the above. Violent teens often lose their temper, destroy things, use drugs or alcohol, hurt animals, carry knives or guns, get into fights, and have trouble with teachers. If your teen exhibits any of these signs, make sure not to have any weapons accessible in the house. Don’t hesitate to get outside help if the violence becomes dangerous.

One way to diminish your teen’s exposure to violence is to monitor what your teen watches on TV, what games they play, and what movies they see. Some suggestions are:

- Not letting your child younger than 10 watch violence on TV
- Only having a TV in your common room so that you can supervise
- Limit the amount of TV time allowed
- Turn off the TV two hours before bedtime
- Teach your child that the violence on TV is fake
- Find other ways to entertain your teen such as playing sports or board games.

Look out for recognizable signs of bullying. If your teen acts scared, anxious, or ashamed in social settings, they may be the victim of bullying. Bullies often pick on people who are easily upset, shy, small, weak, look different, overweight, disabled, or are new to the school – bullying also extends out to religion, race, and sexual orientation.

If your teen is being bullied, make sure they feel safe to talk to you. No matter what type of bullying your teen is facing, they need to know it’s not their fault – the fault lies with the person who is bullying them. Suggest that they:

- Stay near friends that can help them
- Walk away from the bully rather than fighting back – take the high road.
- Get help from a teacher, coach, or other adult.

Cyberbullying is a relatively new problem but is just as dangerous as face-to-face bullying and violence. Platforms used include: cell phones, cell phone cameras, computer tablets, social media sites, chat rooms, text messaging, and online game rooms. The bully will post messages and photos that hurt and insult the victim. These messages travel quickly and deleting them can be difficult – this makes it easy for the bully to spread the message around a whole school or friend group.

To limit your teen’s exposure to cyberbullying and violence, check up on what they’re doing online. To ensure their safety, find out what sites they’re using and what the policy is on the site for incidents of cyberbullying. Remind your teen to come to you if they’re being bullied – emphasize that you won’t pass judgment so that they feel open to telling you what’s going on. Additionally, you can set rules such as:

- Not posting personal information online
- Keeping social computer time to one hour or less per day
- Never opening or sending emails to a stranger
- Only going on approved sites
- Not posting personal photos.

If your teen is a victim of cyberbullying, there are a number of ways to deal with the issue. As a way of insurance, copies of the cyber-bullying incident, whether through email, text message, or another form, should be kept in case you need to go to the police. Recommendations include:

- Writing down the dates and times of the bullying, describing the incident in detail.
- Save screen shots, emails, and text messages.
- Block the person who is cyberbullying
- Report bullying to Internet sites and phone centers.
- Change personal settings on social media sites.
- Report threats, sexual content, private photos, stalking, and hate crimes to the police.

Read more here: http://on.fb.me/1cNRclU

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