For many people, bullying is what shapes a large part of their experience in life as a teenager or young adult. Although there are many different types of bullying that some experience on a daily basis, this doesn’t make any one of them lesser than the others. As part of our continued commitment to monitoring and evaluating the climate of bullying, we consistently find that approximately 1 in 2 teens experience some degree of bullying, with up to 7 in 10 experiencing cyberbullying.
Signs that a teen is being bullied:
Their moods. People who have been bullied will often have a sense of low-worth and this can be seen through their mood and attitude. They will often lose motivation for certain things and tasks that they might otherwise enjoy.
A loss in appetite. This ties in with a change in mood since we all know that when you are feeling low, the last thing that you probably want to do is eat. This can cause a large amount of problems if it is happening on a regular basis.
A desire for isolation. With people becoming more and more reliant on the internet and the things on it, the web can be a very dangerous place for young people. Through our research we have found that there has been a rise in young people spending more time online, more time alone and less time spent outdoors and with family.
More time spent playing computer games. Although there is a large population of young people and even adults who playing video games, for some people, this is used as an escape so it may be a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of time spent on these platforms.
Time spent sleeping. Through this research we have also found that a noticeable percentage of young people will spend more time sleeping, it may be related to the wide world of video gaming but this could also result in them not wanting to wake up for school.
Decrease in time spent focusing on their studies and less time thinking about the future. The future is supposed to be an exciting prospect with things like university and careers around the corner so this could be a red flag in terms of suspecting that you child is being bullied.
How you can help them
Having an open and honest relationship with your child/children is the first step in being able to tackle bullying as they are more likely to open up about the subject, say what has been happening to them, who is doing the bullying and how they are feeling.
Sometimes all young people need is someone to talk to but if there is no one to turn toward, the years of a teen or young adult can be a very solitary place.
A large majority of young people that have experienced bullying have and probably never will tell anyone or report it through fear and a lack of faith that it will be taken seriously.
A step that can be taken is to speak to their teachers and ask for them to keep an eye out for any of the above signs as a lot of bullying happens in schools away from the safety of their own homes.
The ones being bullied need to be able to understand that there need not be an embarrassment or a stigma attached to what is or has happened to them and need to know that there are people close to them, organisations and teachers that they can turn to for help.
In addition to our advice above, we strongly recommend that parents and guardians familiarise themselves with our research reports for the latest trends and recommendations. You may view them here.