Teen Bullying Month: How You Can Support Your Child

    October is National Bullying Awareness Month. What is bullying? StopBullying.com says: “Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.”

    Social media and technology are making it easier for teens to bullying one another from behind a keyboard, so it’s no wonder that parents and educators are concerned. When it feels like bullying is everywhere, how can we support our teens?


    Teen Bullying Facts

    According to an article from Science Daily, “Researchers estimate that as many as 75% of children and adolescents report experiencing some sort of peer victimization, with 10 to 15% experiencing more severe and prolonged victimization.”

    This means that three out of four children experience some type of bullying. This can seem like an overwhelming statistic. Teens who are experiencing bullying may exhibit signs like depression, feeling physically sick, or wanting to avoid school and social activities. You may also notice that they are no longer hanging out with the same group of friends or they seem evasive when you bring up old friends.

    What Can Parents Do?

    Many teens who are being bullied feel ashamed and don’t want to share what is happening. This is why a key factor in supporting your child is opening up lines of communication. Bullying can happen when your teen is in their bedroom just as easily as it can in the school hallways. By creating a space where your teen can come and share the “small” stuff, they will feel more comfortable coming to you when the “big” stuff happens.

    They need to know that you are on their side and that the bullies taunts are not a reflection of who they really are. Building your child’s self confidence can help them become resilient in the face of teen bullying. Encourage your teen by giving them opportunities to explore their interests and strength.

    Trails Carolina Can Help

    Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.

    For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today.


    Graham Shannonhouse

    A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Graham Shannonhouse has been actively involved in the wilderness therapy field for nearly three decades. After receiving her degree in 1991, Shannonhouse spent 10 years working with a premiere wilderness-based therapeutic program in south-central Idaho. During her tenure, she served three years as a hands-on Field Instructor, three years as Field Supervisor, and the remaining time as Wilderness Program Director. During this period she developed, managed, and served as counselor for the country’s first wilderness program specifically focused on pre- teens ages 10 to 13 Graham returned to the east in 2002 to serve as Executive Director for a therapeutic wilderness program based in North Carolina, successfully growing it to one of the most respected companies in the industry. In 2008, she resigned her position to open Trails Carolina. Having an intimate working knowledge of the roots of wilderness therapy, Graham has brought her experience and wisdom to her position as Partner and Executive Director with the goal of integrating the true family work that must be done to insure lasting success.

    All stories by: Graham Shannonhouse