Bullying Basics

Parents: Signs that your teen is being bullied

Bullying is threatening, aggressive, persistent and unwanted behavior that intentionally harms another person emotionally and/or physically. There are several different types of bullying that may occur among teens, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, verbal bullying and/or cyberbullying. It is extremely important that parents, as well as children, understand that there is no form of bullying that is less serious or that requires less attention than another form of bullying. The person being bullied usually has difficulty preventing the behaviors that are being directed toward them, and they often struggle with defending themselves. Many teens, especially boys, will not tell their parent or another adult that they are being bullied. So, it is extremely important that parents are aware of the possible signs that their teen is being bullied. The following guide will help you recognize the signs of a teen that is being bullied.

Identifying Potential Victims of Bullying

In most situations a victim of a bully will display signs of being distressed. Signs may include withdrawal, anxiety, cutting class, depression and/or a decrease in school performance. Unfortunately, some teens may become the victim of a bully simply because they are considered to be a minority, such as ethnic minorities, religious minorities, low economic status, and homosexuals or simply because they are smaller in stature than the bully. However, any child or teenager can become the victim of a bully, without falling into one of the above categories. Although the victims of a bully may vary, it is common for teens that are different in some way than their peers to fall prey to a bully.

Signs That Your Teen is Being Bullied

There are typically warning signs that can indicate when a teen is being bullied; however, not all kids that are being bullied will exhibit the warning signs. It is essential that parents talk to their teens on a regular basis about bullying and encourage them to come to you or another adult if they are being bullied. Some of the warning signs of a teen being bullied may include:


  • Unexplained cuts, bruises and/or scratches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Has reoccurring bad dreams
  • Torn, damaged, or missing pieces of belongings, such as books or clothing
  • Fearful of riding the school bus, walking to and from school, or participating in organized school activities
  • When walking, they will take an illogical route
  • Loss of interest in school work and/or sudden drop in grades
  • Appears sad, moody, depressed, or teary when arriving home from school
  • A sudden change in appetite
  • Reoccurring headaches, stomach aches, frequent complaints of sickness, or fakes being ill to avoid going to school
  • Appears to suffer with anxiousness and/or low self-esteem
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Self-destructive behaviors, such as running away from home, harming themselves, and/or talking about or attempting suicide

Bullying can happen to girls or boys and children of all ages at any time. It is vital that you talk with your teens about bullying and encourage them to learn what to do if they are being bullied. It is also equally important to talk with teens you suspect are being bullies about their behavior. Encourage your teenager to speak up when witnessing bullying and to speak up when being bullied. It is also extremely important to encourage schools to enact no bulling policies and encourage the school faculty to intervene.

Are You a Bully Magnet at Work?

These five factors determine whether you’re tempting prey for office bullies and abusive co-workers.

Workplace bullying is epidemic. In fact, 37 million U.S. workers face “abusive conduct” during the workday, according to a 2014 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute. Nearly 29 million others witness this abuse. To put this into tangible terms, the nearly 66 million workers who face or witness bullying equal the combined population of fifteen U.S. states.

Read More


How to Prevent Bullying of Children with Epilepsy, Other Medical Conditions

These strategies just might save a life.

Bullying can be a serious problem for any child, but for children with a medical challenge such as epilepsy, the risk is increased. Knowing the facts about bullying is the first step toward preventing victimization of children and teens with epilepsy or other medical conditions, and keeping them safe.

What exactly is bullying, and how does it affect the children involved? Bullying consists of aggressive behaviors that are repeated over time and involve an abuse of power by the perpetrator. It may take the form of verbal or physical abuse, or, especially for girls, cyberbullying through social media. The child who bullies learns how to use power and aggression to control and distress another, and the child who is victimized learns about losing power and becoming trapped in an abusive relationship. The lessons for both parties are clearly destructive. Contrary to what some people may think, bullying is not a normal part of healthy adolescent development and the suffering it causes may start early and last a lifetime.

Read More

Post-Election Parenting: What to Do When Adults Act Up

US News January 12, 2017

How much of your parenting time have you spent teaching, talking and modeling for your children that name-calling, shouting and bullying is no way to behave?

Then along came the 2016 national election cycle. Everything you’ve admonished and taught your children not to do was on display – and your kids were watching.

So what’s a parent to do now? Here are four steps you can take to keep your kids on their best behavior – even when some adults act up.

Read More