Helping Your Teen Overcome Bullying

It is no surprise how challenging life can be for a teenager. Teenagers have educational and peer pressure, hormones that effect their moods, and high expectations from family and friends. To top it all off, social media has created a whole new world for teenagers.
It is 2014 and teens are using apps such as Kick, Instagram, Facebook, Snap Chat, Ask and whatever else they can get their hands on that is "cool". This new tech savvy era has created a whole new dimension for bullying and peer pressure. Teens are thinking if I post a picture, how many likes will I get? I can see my friends are hanging out with some other of my friends, why wasn't I invited? And my favorite, anonymous posts telling them that they are ugly, slutty, and should "kill themselves". The pressure on teens to fit in has hit an all time high and not only is this effecting our teens but parents as well. This new lifestyle is presenting many difficult challenges and it can be hard to learn how to cope with these new developments.

Parents need to respectfully monitor their teens electronic usage. How much time is your teenager spending on their electronics. Try to identify a balance that will work for your teenager. I know it is important to stay socially connected to friends but there are also other important things in a teenagers life that need to continue to be balanced. Parents need to look at what content and pictures their teens are posting on apps. 

Talk to your teen about what is appropriate to post on various apps. Have the conversation with your teen about what they should and shouldn't post on their apps and also about what they are posting on other peer's pictures or walls. I get that parents can only control so much about what their teen posts or says to others but having them realize what is appropriate or not appropriate can be helpful in guiding them in a positive direction.

Cyber-bullying is a new phenomenon that is negatively impacting teens; ask your teen if they or their friends have ever been a victim of cyber-bullying. If something is posted to them that is hurtful and is a form of bullying, discuss the way it makes them feel and help them identify that what was said about them is not true. 

If you feel like your teen is being bullying on social media, limit their usage and discuss your concerns with a professional counselor. It is important to discuss their thoughts and feelings as soon as possible when bullying occurs in order to prevent other mental health issues.