How to Help Your Teen Deal With Bullying at School

List: Posted: 10/04/11

Bullying from real life 'Man Girls' is a universal problem in all schools around the country.  It can cause a host of upsetting emotions that a young child will not know how to deal with.  The good news is that you can help your teen cope with the situation in a way that strengthens her self-esteem and helps her to look beyond the trivial nature of other teen's negative actions.

 

Show Compassion

 

Your teen is at a sensitive stage in her life where social issues at school will have a great effect on her emotional well being.  She may not openly share her problems with you.  Help her to open up by creating a positive atmosphere that she can feel comfortable in.  When your daughter does share problems with you, listen while showing compassion.  There is a balance that comes with listening to a teen.  While it is best not to become overly emotional yourself, it is also important to try to understand what your daughter is going through.


Share Your Own Experiences

 

Sharing your own personal experiences that you had while in school may help your daughter understand that she is not alone.  There are many people who have gone through similar situations at her age.  Let her know that, while bullying is never okay, being on the receiving end of such treatment does not define who they are.  If she is being picked on for a specific attribute, let them know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with who they are.

 

Help Your Tween See Her Positive Attributes

 

Teens are very impressionable.  Bullying can often make children feel like they must deserve the treatment in some way.  Their self-esteem will suffer, and they may begin to show signs of anxiety, stress, or depression.  Your teen should understand that she is the more mature person for not picking on other children.  Talk about her other strengths, attributes, and skills.  Creating confidence in your child will help her get through negative situations at school.


Help Your Child Understand the Bully

 

Let your daughter know that bullies often have low self-esteem themselves, which is why they tend to act aggressively towards others.  Their bullying tactics are a sign of deeper emotional disorders, which can include a lack of empathy, remorse, or compassion.  Your teen should realize that she shows great strength in having these positive qualities that the bully lacks.   While your daughter should try to ignore bullies, she should also know to report the situation to you or a teacher if she feels that she is in danger.

 

Assess the Situation and Take Action if Necessary

 

While bullying often involves name-calling and other emotional abuse, some bullies may begin to threaten with physical harm.  While both emotional and physical bullying can create scars for your teen, it is important to step in when necessary.  This may involve a discussion with the school’s principle and staff.

 

Become active by joining the school’s anti-bullying program.  If one doesn’t yet exist at your daughter’s school, consider starting a program on your own.  Everyone likes to see their kids happy and safe.  You will find that many parents will readily join in to support your actions.

 

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