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. It’s not easy talking to your teen about bullying, especially if you don’t already have open communication going on between you and your teens.
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 this conflict.
How to Talk to Your Teen About Bullying
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.
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.
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 to broach difficult conversations with your child. The show touches on various different types of 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.
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!