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Parenting Made Easy: How To Talk To Your Teen About Bullying

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: April 8, 2013 | Categories: Children, Education, Guest Posts, Parenting

Guest Post
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The fact that previous generations of tweens and teens didn’t have cyber bullying to contend with may be a contributing factor in what seems like the rising desperation of victims. Tragically, a number of young people today see suicide as a solution to their plight, which is why it is so fundamentally important that we fight bullying and talk to our children about dealing with the conflict.

Opening the Line of Communication

Getting your teenagers to open up to you about their issues and insecurities can be difficult so instead of risking them feeling as though you are infringing on their privacy by asking invasive questions, try opening up to them about your own experiences and hope that they’ll reciprocate.

Tell them about some of your experiences with bullying, or tell them about a story you’ read in the paper or saw on the news and see how they react. Another great way to initiate this conversation with your teen is by simply asking them to watch a film with you and then set on any of the following movies.

Movies for Your Tween

Bullying is a heavy subject matter and so it is understandable that most of the films covering it have mature ratings and may not be suitable for younger kids, which is why I have divided up these film suggestions.

1. Cyberbully

A very fitting movie for today’s teenagers, this film focuses on the negative side of the internet that most teens don’t consider. Emily Osment plays Taylor Hillridge, a 17 year old girl who is bullied so viciously online and in real life that she considers taking her own life.

Use the premise of this film to discuss internet safety and online bullying with your son or daughter.

2. Glee

While it may not be a movie, it is a wildly popular TV show that I’m sure you’ve seen but may not have thought to use in order to broach difficult conversations with your child. The show touches on various different types and reasons for bullying, so you should find a great conversation starter somewhere in the show.

Movies for Your Older Child

Make sure to watch the film yourself first, read about it online, or leave me a question in the comments to figure out whether or not any of these films are suitable for your child.

3. Bully

This documentary made headlines when it was released last year as it depicted real life cases of bullying. The documentary follows the lives of five students who are bullied daily and how they deal with it.

Ratings for the film worldwide have been mixed with the MPAA in the states giving it an ‘R’ while most Canadian provinces rated it PG. For this reason I advise you to make that decision for yourselves.

4. Bang Bang You’re Dead

This is a heart-wrenching movie that showcases just how terrible and disastrous the effects of bullying can be by touching on the Columbine tragedy. I wouldn’t recommend this movie for anyone below the age of 15, but again – it entirely your call as a parent. The film really shows just how devastating bullying can be, even in the smallest acts of unkindness.

We as parents need to encourage our kids to be kind and generous with each other, just as schools should using whatever method they can think of,  be it lectures or school rewards.

Hopefully one of these films can help you broach the subject of bullying with your teen so you can help them deal with any concerns they have.  Let me know if there are any other films or tips you have for dealing with this tough subject matter!

Estelle Page is a mother of two and a blogger. She is a strong supporter of using carrot rewards to encourage and teach children and simply loves being a mum!

19 Responses to Parenting Made Easy: How To Talk To Your Teen About Bullying

  1. This is so scary, I think about it a lot and I don’t want my sons to be on either end of the spectrum.

  2. When my tween seems down, I talk to him about this. Thankfully it doesn’t apply.

  3. I don’t watch Glee so I didn’t realize it touched on the topic. That’s good to know!

  4. Wendy Price says:

    I was bullied a lot as a kid simply because I did not have relations. Lucky for me I knew who was in the right and it didn’t bother me much.

  5. I HATE bullies. Like really, really hate them (it). So far we haven’t had to deal with it, but if I do, I can guarantee you, it’s not going to be pretty.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I find this to be a very difficult situation to discuss, not because my kids are difficult, but because I am so fearful for them. I was somewhat bullied as a child because of my weight and it has caused a lifetime of poor self-esteem and general fear. I’m definitely growing out of it but since I know how it feels, I want to protect my children from the same insecurities. Like Crystal @Simply Being Momma, I HATE bullies. To me, there is nothing worse or more damaging that a frightening childhood experience.

  7. Angela says:

    It really seems like bullying has become an epidemic. Something more definitely needs to be done.

  8. These are all awesome resources, thanks for sharing! I’ve been lucky that no one has ever bullied my daughter, and she is too nice to try to bully anyone.

  9. Marcie W. says:

    Bullying was a problem when I was a teen, especially during the earlier awkward years. I can only imagine how much worse it is now with the addition of social media.

  10. Colleen Schilinski says:

    You are right-on with this tidbit of advice.

  11. cami says:

    i hope parents read this and take to heart!!! teens know bullying is wrogn but they often have to be reminded and there are many examples where it has gone to wrong. i feel horrible for kids these days; when we were growing up it was just playground stuff (which was hurtful) now they have cyber bullying and txt message bullying!!!

  12. JRFrugalMom says:

    Bullying is so sad! We had to get the vice principal into my son’s class to get bullying under control.

  13. Glad you added Glee in there.

  14. I make sure my kids come to me when they deal with stuff like this. I had to deal with this when I was in school

  15. Shell Feis says:

    Bullying is such a big issue. I am worried for when my son starts school.

  16. Colleen says:

    I absolutely hate bullying, my son was not bullied however he recently got hit int he head with a soda can because a kid thought it would be fun to steal his soda and my son chanced him to get it back. The kid turned around and threw the soda at him and cut his head.

    I think bullying can take such an emotional toll. I have talked to my kids way before they are teens and continue to do so.

  17. I pray that my son never has to deal with this issue but there are great tips to keep in mind when he’s older.

  18. Lolo says:

    It is sad how bad things have gotten.

  19. Elsbeth says:

    Love your post! I think it takes moms helping other moms know how to talk with kids about this bullying issue. As a psychologist I hear about bullying all the time, and not just among kids! My card deck, How to Spot a Bully, is my attempt to offer the world a tool not just for identifying bullying but clarifying the steps to solving the problem, whether you’re a victim, an observer, or a bully yourself. “It takes a village” is clearly apropos. Thanks for doing your part.

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