Teen bullying has become a very serious problem among youth today. There have been injuries and deaths that have been both directly and indirectly linked to the issue. If you have a teen son or daughter who is a bully, you should take some steps to resolve the problem immediately, for the sake of your teen and his or her peers.
*Admit the Truth
As a parent, you may want to believe that your teenager is beyond reproach, or at least that they wouldn't do anything to intentionally bring pain to another person, but that is not always the case. If you receive a report of bullying, or witness it for yourself, admit that it is going on so that you can begin to deal with it now, before it goes any further.
*Talk With Your Teen
Sit down and calmly confront your teen with the situation that you are concerned about. If you have evidence of the bullying activity, such as something printed off the internet, present the teen with it and ask for an explanation. Otherwise, simply voice your concerns and let the teen explain. After you have heard their side of the story, advise them about the seriousness of the matter. Try to hear beyond their words and get to the root of the problem, so that you will be better able to help the teen effectively.
There must be consequences to inappropriate behavior, which bullying certainly is. Tough love has become a well-known phrase in parenting, but it has not often been a well-used one. Either parents are forgetting the love and only using the tough or never being tough as they try and pour out love by the gallon. There must be a balance in effective parenting, especially when it comes to teens. Set clear rules and consequences and stick to them. Do not accept or excuse inappropriate behavior.
*Meet With His/Her School Counselor
Generally, bullying among teens is going on both after school as well as during school. For this reason, establishing good communication with your teen's school counselor is going to be very helpful. This person can help you to get a clearer understanding of what's going on and will often be able to share both sides of the story. These professionals may also be able to give you some ideas for dealing with the issue, as they have often had years of experience in this very thing.
*Keep in Touch With Teachers
Like the counselor, your teen's teachers will be seeing and hearing what is going on during school hours. Keep in touch with them, letting them know your concerns, particularly the teachers that are going to be around your teen and the subject(s) of their bullying behavior.
It is very important that you supervise your teen's behaviors and activities, including what is going on online. Cyber-bullying is just as dangerous as any other sort and it is happening with increasing frequency in this computer driven age of technological advances. As a parent, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that your teen is doing the right things and is not causing harm to any other person.
When a teen begins bullying, there may be something serious causing the behavior. There is an anger issue at hand that must be dealt with. Professional counselors are trained in getting to the root of the problem and helping the person to find resolution. Your teen will likely benefit greatly by getting the assistance of a counselor.
Bullying is not an issue that should be taken lightly. This has become an extremely serious problem in the past decade, much more than it was in prior generations. As a parent, you must admit that this is a problem in your teen's life and do everything that you can to put a stop to the behavior.