You might think you know what bullying looks like, but today, bullying comes in countless forms – and with innumerable consequences. Unfortunately, it’s a hard truth that nearly a third of America’s students grades 6 to 12 have experienced bullying, while nearly 70 percent have witnessed bullying at school.
Chances are, they’re not all wearing black eyes.
Today’s bullies aren’t the beefy, leather-jacket wearing jocks of old movies and cartoons. Today’s bullies lurk in unexpected places – like your child’s social media inbox or his incoming texts. And today, bullying has ramifications that go way beyond broken bones and bruised egos. In fact, newscasts are frequently dotted with stories of teens and young adults who complete suicide after enduring bullying at school or online. In my book, “R U OK? Teen Depression and Suicide,” I speak of one teen driven to suicide after bullying made her feel isolated, alone and terribly depressed.
No teen should ever feel what so many of our youth face every day. If you suspect your child (or one you love) is being bullied, it’s time to talk about it. Knowing the signs of bullying is the first step to saving a teen’s dignity, her self-esteem and possibly her life.
Warning Signs of Bullying
Risk Factors for Bullying
Make no mistake, bullying is everyone’s problem.
It could happen to the poorest kid on the street – or the richest. A shy tuba player in the band could be the target; so could the captain of the cheerleading squad. Bullying can happen to anyone, and that’s why it’s so important to recognize the warning signs that your child or one you love is experiencing bullying. That said, there are several reasons a teen might become the target of bullying. These “risk factors” include:
Too often, parents learn that their child experienced bullying too late. While your teen may not be considering suicide, if he’s being bullied, it’s undoubtedly affecting his confidence and self-esteem. If you suspect bullying, your first step is asking a simple question: R U OK? This question graces the cover of my book because, too often, teens think they have to face their challenges alone. Asking the question opens a dialogue that in turn can help save your teen from the isolation and pain she feels. For more information on how to talk to your teen, check out “R U OK? Teen Depression and Suicide.”.
by Kristi Hugstad
Each of us has attached ourselves to something or somebody, and when you lose that special thing or person, you grieve. Always. You can try to run from it all you want, but it will always find you and tackle you when you’re not looking. My blogs, along with my books, will give you the tools to help you learn to live with your new self as you journey through your grief.