In every school across the country, kids are being bullied every day. In fact, a 2013 report by the National Center of Educational Statistics found that one in three students report being bullied during the school year. It’s a crazy number, but there are ways to prevent it from growing. The best way to prevent bullying is to nip it in the bud before it even begins. Bullying can impact a teen academically, emotionally, and physically. It’s extremely important to be proactive about bullying prevention because every teen is at risk to participate in bullying or be a victim of bullying.
Talking about Bullying
Bullying prevention begins with a conversation between you and your child. Your child needs to understand what bullying is and what they can do to stand up to bullies. To get them involved in bullying prevention, make sure they know to tell an authoritative figure if they see someone being bullied or if they experience bullying themselves. Another aspect of the bullying prevention conversation is describing to your child the different ways to stand up to bullies. These can include using humor, saying “no” firmly and authoritatively, or walking (or running) away if they don’t think those solutions will work.
Utilize open communication
Believe it or not, when you talk most of the time your child will listen to what you have to say. They also want you to listen to what they have to say. Establishing open communication between you and your child is an important part of bullying prevention. Being in the know about their daily life, including who they’re spending their time with, good and bad things that happened throughout the day, and what their interactions on the bus or lunchroom are like, is important in assessing whether or not there might be bullying already present in your child’s life.
Actions may speak louder than words
Getting your teen involved in something they genuinely love to do, like theatre or sports, can build the confidence and friendships they need to prevent bullying from occurring. Bullying prevention is not just about a conversation you should have with your child, it’s also about the actions you take. You need to treat others with the respect and kindness that you want your child to treat others with. Being a good role model can help prevent your child from taking part in bullying.
Trails Carolina can help
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for young people ages 10-17 that helps struggling teens work through emotional and behavioral issues through wilderness adventure experiences. Trails Carolina is a huge advocate for bullying prevention and seeks to help those who have bullied, or have been bullied overcome their struggles.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303.