Teen Bullies: Early Signs and Symptoms Every Parent Should Know

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A very crucial question comes to our mind when one encounters cases of teenagers bullying others, why are they trying to irritate others?

Why do parents show disgust and disbelief if they come to know they have a teen bully in the house. Parents fail to understand a teenager’s viewpoint when he or she resorts to bullying or gets bullied. Teenagers are a reflection of the bad behaviour exhibited by our society. Our political system shows this behaviour where they tend to exploit weaker people and make their life a hell. Teenagers emulate this behaviour where weaker people are tortured by powerful people. Teen bullies feel they can show their power by picking on weak people.

Now, what exactly is bullying-

Bullying: is when someone is picked on by a person or groups of people. Bullying can be in the form of making fun of a person’s appearance, making fun of someone’s religion, ridiculing someone’s social status and making fun of someone’s sexual identity(gay, Lesbians or Transgenders).

Bullying can be of several kinds-

Physical bullying- bullies tend to hurt their targets physically by hitting, pushing or punching the person.

Verbal bullying-teasing or taunting their targets is verbal bullying

Psychological bullying– gossiping about people or excluding people out of their group which makes a person feel bad is psychological bullying

Cyberbullying- bullies use the internet and social media to say mean things about the person which they can’t tell them directly on their face. They can be mean texts, posts or post personal videos on the net to hurt people.

Effects of bullying-

People who are bullied start becoming scared, anxious, stressed and depressed. They are unable to concentrate on schoolwork as they suffer from mood swings, lack of appetite and disturbed sleep patterns. They are disturbed with suicidal thoughts and tend to hurt themselves.

Bully Traits-

They want to be in control or show power

Popularity can also lead to bullying

Teenagers who have been bullied want to take revenge so they too turn into bullies

Teenagers coming from broken and abusive homes, where violence and aggression dominates turn into bullies

Teens who lead dull lives and want to add some excitement in their lives resort to bullying. The less attention they get from parents they try to seek attention by bullying.

Teenagers find pleasure in targeting special need children and children suffering from some disorders. These children are weak and these bullies can throw their weight on them.

Peer pressure among teenagers can turn them into bullies

Early signs of bullying-

Teasing family members and outsiders

Forcing people to do things which they aren’t keen on doing

Excluding people out from their activities

Gossiping and rumour-mongering about others

Taking out their frustrations on the people around them

Forcing people to accept and adopt their viewpoint

Personality traits of bullies-

Teen bullies are both girls and boys and they exhibit certain personality traits which can show them in a poor light. These are-

  • Aggressive and outgoing behaviour
  • Quiet and sneaky behaviour
  • Act friendly but are fake
  • Over focussed on themselves
  • Uncaring
  • Poor social skills
  • Insecure and sad

These children are insecure and have low esteem regarding themselves

Children who are bullied should be taught by parents to be-

  • Confident
  • Learn to fight back instead of becoming a sissy
  • Get rid of inferiority complex
  • Don’t get physical
  • Try to talk to the bully instead of getting scared
  • Find true friends  and leave hypocrites alone
  • Join bullying prevention programs
  • Finally, they should confide into an adult if they suffer  from bullying

How parents can help their teens who have become bullies-

Such children have anger and emotional issues, which they can’t handle so they target others to release their anger. They don’t understand empathy.

Parents can help by transforming their emotions into a constructive form by enrolling them into a martial art class or taking them to a park or gym where they can shout or use a punching bag to channelize their negative energy. Make the home a conducive place for them to express themselves. They are fragile, handle them with care.

-Dr. PREETI TALWAR

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