How to Talk to Your Teen About Bullying
Here are some tips and tools for talking about the situation with your teens and preteens, with help from Dr. Vicki Panaccione and PACER's National Center for Bullying Prevention.
Open the Conversation—Don't Wait for Your Teen
If Your Teen Opens Up, DO NOT Shut Him Down!
Instead, respond rather than react. Gentle prompts about how your teen felt during the situation will be the most effective way to keep your teen sharing with you. This is NOT the time for a lecture, it's time to listen.
Prepare Your Teen to Stand Up to Bullying
- Making good decisions in their treatment of peers
- Standing up for what they believe in when around others who treat peers poorly
- Emphasizing that they NEVER have to "just take it" if they are being harassed in any way
- Feeling good about who they are and loving themselves
- Letting them know that you ALWAYS "have their back", value and love EVERYTHING about them
Remember, No Conversation is Too Short, No Topic Too Frequent
Just remember to keep your ears and arms open, and your judgment and lecturing mouth firmly closed. Through diligence and tolerance, you'll be doing your part to help combat the ugly practice of bullying and give your teen the support he needs.
- GLSEN GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. They offer a comprehensive list of anti-bullying resources.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation's foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. They offer parents ten ways to make our schools safer, and ways to report bullying in schools.
- THE TREVOR PROJECT The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis intervention and suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its free and confidential lifeline, in-school workshops, educational materials, online resources and advocacy. They offer tons of information including list of suicidal signs and facts and advice on how to help someone who is suicidal.