Tag Archive | "bullying"

Bullying Leads to Substance Abuse in Teens

Adolescence is the time wherein peer pressure is at its peak. It is where teens do certain things that they do not usually do in order for them to belong to a group. These activities can either be good or bad. This is because during this time their friends matter most to them as compared to their parents which is why they do their best to belong and it fit in even if it means becoming the person that they do not want to be.

Not all teens want to have vices. But not being part of a group will make them prone to bullying. This in turn makes them do things like cigarette smoking, alcohol abuse, and even use illicit drugs even at a young age. This is the reason why substance abuse is very rampant among teens because they still do not know how to cope up well with peer pressure.

As a parent it is your primary role to help your teen overcome pressures that he is feeling at school especially with other teenagers. Here are some of the ways on how to help your teen cope with bullying and how to prevent them from engaging into substance abuse:

  • Be mindful of your teen’s attitude. When you see some changes like frequent mood swings, always ask for money, and having poor performance at school, these may signal that something is bothering him. This can be an indicator that he is being bullied and is in much peer pressure or is already hooked with substance abuse. You should be sensitive to look on your teen’s change of character before you find out later when it is already hard to cut his bad ways.
  • Be your teen’s friend. When you have an open relationship with your son or daughter, they will tell you about their frustrations and how they are feeling. When you know what bothers them, you know how to give comfort and correct any misconceptions that they have.
  • Encourage your teen to be active in sports and other school activities. This will help divert his focus and do things that matters rather than thinking on how to belong to on a certain group of friends only. This will also help your teen become well rounded individuals.
  • Let your teen join camps and other avenues wherein he can explore in a good way. These activities will help him see the world in a different light and make him realize that there is more to life than those people bullying him. This will also help him find friends and boost his self confidence as well. These activities teach values and morals so your child won’t need the help of harmful substances to cope up with life’s stresses.

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How to Prepare Your Child on Handling Social Issues

Children are very intelligent people. But there may be certain scenarios in life that may be too hard for them to handle. As parents, it is your primary duty to make your children ready for different life events so that they will know how to handle their emotions when it comes.

In life there are different social issues. Here are some of them and how parents can prepare their children when facing these situations:

  • Death of a Family Member or Friend

Perhaps this would be the most painful and difficult event that a child can experience. Tell them children stories that touch about death in a very light way. Let them know that just like giving birth, death is also part of everyone’s life. Telling your child that death is like sleeping permanently is a big no-no; this may make the child fear of falling asleep. At an early age, it is best that you bring your children along wakes and funerals if ever a family member dies. In this way you can expose them on what the real scenario looks like.

  • Divorce

Letting your child know that you are getting a divorce with your partner is never easy. You have to say it in a way that your child won’t hold grudges against both of you. In form your child that although both mommy and daddy can’t be together, that means that you love him or her less. Never let your child see both if you fight. This may give them emotional trauma.

  • Accidents

As early as possible tell your child to follow rules and stay away from danger so that accidents are prevented.

  • War and Guns

Your children may be too young for these kinds of issues, but letting them know that this actually exists is a very helpful thing. Tell them that being violent and war is not a solution to disputes and fights. Emphasize that the most important way to handle differences is by talking and settling things in a calm and peaceful manner. By doing this you are preparing your child to be a calm mannered individual and without violent tendencies.

  • Bullying

Bullying may weaken your child’s heart. He or she may feel this especially when in school. Your child may hear harsh words from friends that can scar his or her little heart at an early age. Tell your child that what their friends are saying is not true. Assure them that you love them and they are perfect just the way they are. Also it would be best to teach your children not to bully others and how it feels to be bullied. Tell them the value of the golden rule, “Do unto others what you want others to do unto you” .

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Helping your Kids Cope with Bullying

One of the most common frights parents have when their children reach school-age is bullying. Your home has always served as a loving nest for your little one, and now that he or she is among other children, it is natural to worry if your child would be able to make friends, keep friends and stay away from trouble. However, no matter how well you raise your child, you still won’t have control over how other kids behave around him or her.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your child is being bullied in school, this article offers helpful tips on how to effectively manage the crisis.

Understanding bullying

You are right to be concerned – bullying is an actual threat to a child’s well-being, particularly to his or her safety and security. Bullying does not exist purely in pushing and the shoving other children, however, in many schools, these are common instances. Bullying is usually physical, but can also be verbal, such as teasing or name-calling. There may not even be physical contact – a child whose homework is torn to pieces, or whose lunch is always stolen, or who is constantly ridiculed and ganged up against, is definitely bulled. Threats, blackmailing and even oral defamation (spreading lies about a person) also count as bullying.

A bully could be just one person, or there could be a gang. This gang is usually a group of friends with one intention: to bully a more inferior child.

There’s even a new and dangerous type of bullying – it’s called cyber-bullying. Children are harassed by bullies through chat, mobile phones, or emails or other networking sites on the Web.

Bullying may arise from different factors. In school, when a child is different, he or she can easily attract attention, may it be good or bad. By different we mean when “too” smart, or “too” poor in class, looks odd with thick glasses, can’t play sports, has funny outfits, or is from a different race or culture.

Children who bully others do so because they need a victim, someone more inferior, to make them feel superior and in-charge. They may also be threatened. In some cases, other children bully just so they can be popular.

A child who is constantly bullied in any form has an inconsolable feeling of anxiety. This may affect his or her physiologic well-being; your child may lose appetite or may experience trouble sleeping caused by anxiety. His or her performance in school may drop significantly. A child who was once cheerful and playful, may now hide in his or her room, and refuse to talk about school, and may seem irritable, depressed, or withdrawn. You will know something is wrong when your child begins to desperately look for excuses to miss school.

How to cope

As a parent, deal with your emotions first.   It is emotionally difficult for parents to see that their children are mistreated, and they have the impulse to hit right back. You are the mature individual who needs to help your child, and you will not be able to do so unless you are calm, rational and realistic.

A bullied child will not usually admit to his or her parents what has been going on. So, you will need to do research. This will require talking to your child’s teachers, and even the principal of the school. Ask about your child’s performance, habits and who he or she hangs out with.

Do your best to get your child to speak out, but do not be forceful about it. Children are naturally hesitant to tell their parents about bullies because they feel that the parents would be disappointed, or they are afraid that their parents would simply say it’s their fault. If you suspect your child is being bullied, open it up gently. Ask how his or her day went, or casually ask about his or her friends. Tell him or her to invite friends over for an after-school snack. If you watch a movie where some bullying is portrayed, try to gauge your child’s perception by asking him or her questions such as “What did you think about what the bully did?” and “if you were in that situation and were bullied, what do you think you’d do?”

How to help your child cope

Your comfort and support are all your child needs during his or her crisis. Resist the urge to be judgmental and emotional. When your child admits to being bullied, never ever question him or her or say that it’s his or her fault. Make your child feel you’re on his or her side. And do not give the advice “Fight back”. It will not work, and if your child could, he or she probably would have done so a long time ago.

Instead, tell your child that bullying happens to people at one or more points in their life. Give an example of someone your child knows.

A bullied child has burnt self-esteem. As a parent you will need to boost his or her morale. Emphasize on your child’s good qualities and reiterate the bullies bully simply because they had those qualities.

Offer diversion. So you child doesn’t seem to enjoy going to school because he hates basketball. Have him join a club where he could meet kids with similar interests as his. He will surely make friends and going to school won’t seem so hard.

Finally, if nothing seems to work, you may need to reach out to your child’s guidance counselor and teachers. They can offer to set up a meeting with the bully’s parents so you can discuss how the bullying has affected your child, and they can cope up with ways to discipline their child.

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