7 Ways to Talk to Your Teen About Bullying
Bullying is become a nationwide issue, as both parents and teachers try to find ways to prevent bullying and stop it in its tracks. If you are concerned that bullying is happening to your child, you may be wondering how exactly to approach it. Talking to your child about the bullying is the first step in stopping it, but how do you know what to ask? Take a look below at 7 ways to talk to your teen about bullying and to let him or her know that you are ready to support them. Here is how you can get started.
1. Enjoy an activity together.
Lighten up the conversation by taking your child on a date. Go get a meal together, get manicures, or do some other special activity together. This will put you at ease and hopefully open them up to talking. By spending some extra time with you they will feel like they can trust you as well.
2. Establish a safe zone.
Let your child know that your space you are speaking in is a safe zone. What they say will be safe guarded by you. They are free to speak about what is on their mind without judgment from you or interruption.
3. Ask them to name supportive friends.
Before you get into who the bullies are, ask them to tell you about their supportive and good friends. You will want them to realize who their support systems are and it will also help you know who you can turn to for support.
4. Ask when the bullying occurs.
See if you can find a pattern in when the issue is occurring. This information will also be helpful when you contact the appropriate resource after your discussion. Have them name the location and time if at all possible.
5. Find out who the bullies are.
See if your child is comfortable naming who the bullies are. This may be an ideal time to stress the safe zone and that you can be trusted. Ensure the child you want to help them and stopping this abuse is your priority.
6. Offer them resources.
Now that the child has spoken to you, offer them some additional resources. This may be a school counselor, teacher, or therapist who may be able to help. Offer to put the child in touch with these resources for follow up and additional help.
7. Set a date to follow up.
Don’t let this be your last conversation. Set a date to follow up and revisit the issue again. It can be in as soon as 24 hours or a few days from your conversation. It will let your child know that this is an issue you will continue to address until it is solved.
If you need to talk to your child about bullying, these are some excellent tips to get you started. While bullying is never a fun issue to talk about, hopefully these tips will make the conversation a little easier to have and more productive as well.