No one wants to think of their child as someone who would or could bully others. It’s hard for many parents to wrap their heads around what could lead their child to bully in the first place. Teen bullying can be carried out by some of the nicest, most caring and considerate teens. So why do teens bully? The answer is pretty complicated and varies from person to person.
What causes teen bullying?
Your teen may begin bullying others for a variety of reasons. Some of these may include:
- Bullying at home: Your teen may have been bullied or pushed around by their siblings or another relative. They are taking these behaviors learned from home and projecting them on to their peers at school.
- Learning disability: Sometimes a learning disability can lead to difficulties understanding how to react in certain social situations. This lack of understanding can lead to teen bullying. Often, bullies use aggression as a way to compensate for the social skills they have not developed due to their learning disability.
- Friends who are bullies: Your teen may just want to fit in with their group of friends, who are all bullies themselves. This will cause your teen to pick up some of the bullying behaviors of their friends.
- Low self esteem: Sometimes teens with low self esteem lash out at others because it is the only way they believe they can feel better about themselves. If this is the case with your teen, there are so many other ways they can boost their self esteem (extracurriculars, community service, etc.)
What can parents do to help?
- Teens should feel accountable for their behavior: Bullies often make excuses for their behavior and blame others for their actions. It is important to create an environment of accountability in your home in order to prevent this mentality from occurring. Often, teens really believe that their bullying has been provoked by the person they have bullied. These beliefs need to be changed – you might want to sit your teen down and talk about their behaviors.
- Teaching your teen about how to deal with social situations: Your child needs to learn how to resolve conflicts and overcome emotions that lead to bullying. Walking your child through a situation in which they would lash out at others can really help them determine what to do when they encounter similar situations in the future.
- Consistent consequences: If your teen has continued bullying others, it’s important for them to see consequences for their behaviors. You could take away their favorite video game or their laptop, but you could also do something that makes them REALLY think about their actions. For example, you could make them write a letter to the person they bullied apologizing and explaining their actions. This will help prevent bullying from occurring in the future.
Trails Carolina can help
For more information, contact Trails Carolina today at 800-975-7303.