FOR TEENAGERS

 

A LITTLE ADVICE

The first thing to understand about bullying is that the bully is usually trying to inflate his or her ego, achieve or maintain popularity, or impress friends - in all of these cases, bullies are seeking approval. The important truth is when you're secure and comfortable with who you are, you don't try to make others feel inadequate.

Teenage bullying can get serious fast. There are many tools today to spread gossip and harass people in the once safe haven of their home with cyberbullying. Bullying includes physical injury, repeated verbal belittlement, and an organized rejection from peers.

TYPES OF BULLYING

Today we categorize patterns of teenage bullying into four groups:

Pushing, punching, tripping, and kicking are common forms of physical bullying. Causing bodily harm to another person should never be tolerated. If you witness this type of behavior, you should report it right away.

 

Repeated putdowns are designed to embarrass and intentionally make the victim feel bad. Verbal techniques include teasing others relentlessly or humiliating them in front of others.

PHYSICAL BULLYING IS THE MOST COMMON FORM FOR BOYS.

Organizing a group of friends to shun the victim. This type of isolating bullying can be hard to detect because the victim usually does not talk about it as they feel there has been no confrontation.

 

This is especially harmful as today's teens are able to communicate instantly with large groups of peers. Instant messag, text messages, and social networks can all be used to spread malicious gossip 24 hours a day.

VERBAL + EMOTIONAL BULLYING ARE MORE COMMON AMONGST GIRLS.

COPING WITH BULLYING

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN TARGETED

Discipline and communication are the key to combating and coping with bullying. Most children and teens try not to think or talk about it, but doing just the opposite is the best the way to deal with bullying. The disciplined response below may help you.

PLEASE REACH OUT

 

ARE YOU BEING BULLIED?

Tell someone. If you’re looking for someone to talk to, or someone to help you take action, there are people who would love to help.  Your situation can improve if you have the courage to share your story.

STEP ONE

First, discussion and awareness. Find someone whom you trust and tell them exactly what has happened and how it makes you feel. Know that bullying is immoral, self-seeking, and toxic. It is the bullies that need help, not you. They usually have a low self-image and self-esteem.

STEP TWO

Second, strategy. Have a plan of action ready if the bullying occurs again. Most bullies thrive on the reaction and confusion of the victim. The fumbling of words, tears, and blank stares are all things that add fuel to the fire, so to speak. Strategies can range from a catchphrase that is repeated, or to an exit plan, to an immediate phone call to a friend or parent. The point is, have a plan that you know and practice so if the bullying does occur, you have a sense of what to do.

STEP THREE

Third, action. Practice how you are going to react to bullies. The more familiar you become with your reaction, the easier it will be to do it. If the time arrives when you are bullied, follow through with your strategy.

STEP FOUR

Fourth, assessment. Discuss with your parents or friends the outcome of the situation. Was your reaction enough to stop future bullying? Analyze the outcome.

WHY BULLIES BULLY

 

SOMETIMES THE ANSWER IS NOT SIMPLE

When these underlying factors exist, kids and teens are more likely to bully others:

Has issues at home

Thinks making others feel bad makes them happy

Has trouble with authority

Sees violence as a game

Challenges friends to bully others

BULLIES AREN'T ALWAYS BIG

Bullies don’t have to be bigger or stronger. Groups of kids can exert immense bullying power. The perception that many are against the victim is often the case. Bullying is rarely done without a witness. The witness is needed to view the action for the bullying to be validated.

WHY IT'S HARD TO TALK ABOUT

The reasons why teens do not want to discuss bullying with parents are various, with the most common misconceptions being:

They think their parents will make the situation worse

They believe their parents will not understand the situation

They are afraid their parents will overreact to the situation

They worry that their parents will do something to embarrass them

They think their parents will constantly want to discuss the situation

Knowing these issues, parents can begin a discussion with their teen by addressing them individually. To start, say something like "I will not do anything you do not want me to do. We'll figure out a solution together to make it stop." This has a good chance of getting an honest discussion going about the bullying situation.

THE LAW SAYS

 

YOU HAVE LEGAL OPTIONS

Unfortunately, there may be some instances where you will need to see legal counsel for bullying. You should not feel ashamed nor should you hesitate when bullying goes to the extreme. State and local lawmakers are committed to prevent bullying and protect children.

Each state varies on the laws it employs to addresses bullying. Find out how your state refers to bullying in its laws and what they require on part of schools and districts. Bullying, cyberbullying, and related behaviors may be addressed in a single law or may be addressed in multiple laws.

Have your parents contact a lawyer in your area and they will be able to give you proper counsel on your rights. Please check out the resources provided below.

RESOURCES AND HELP

 

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO STOP BULLYING?

First things first: if there has been a crime or someone is at immediate risk of serious physical harm, call 911.

Bullying is serious stuff. If you or someone you know and love is being bullied, don’t wait to act. There are various forms and degrees of bullying, so we’re here to help you decide how to act.

Even if you feel like you’ve done everything you can to resolve the situation, you can always reach out for additional help.

PUBLIC RESOURCES

Bullying should never be ignored. Use the resources below to learn more about how and when to seek additional or professional help.

American Psychological Association International Association on Workplace Bullying and Harassment Society for Occupational Health Psychology Society for Human Resource Management CDC Podcasts: Bullying Prevention for Kids Teen Health and Wellness

HOTLINES

Help is only a phone call away. If you or anyone you know is experiencing a medical emergency, in immediate danger, or might harm themselves or others, pick up the phone.

CRISIS CALL CENTER

800-273-8255
or text "ANSWER" to 839863

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

CrisisCallCenter.org/CrisisServices

CYBER TIPLINE

800-843-5678
or text "ANSWER" to 839863

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

CyberTipline.com

THE TREVOR LIFELINE

(U.S. only)
866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386)

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

TheTrevorProject.org

NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE

800-273-TALK (8255)

twenty-four hours a day, seven days a weeks

SuicidePreventionLifeline.org

 
 

NATIONAL HOPELINE
NETWORK

800-SUICIDE (784-2433)
800-442-HOPE (4673)

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

Hopeline.com

 

SPEAK UP

866-SPEAK-UP (773-2587)

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

cpyv.org

THURSDAY's CHILD
NATIONAL YOUTH
ADVOCACY HOTLINE

800-USA-KIDS (872-5437)

twenty-four hours a day,
seven days a week

ThursdaysChild.org

CONTACT US

Have a question you’d like a legal team to answer? We can help! Fill out the form below and one of our team members will reach out to you with advice, resources, or legal guidance.

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