Teen Challenge - Is your teen a bully?

Good Morning! Here's the Monday Morning Blog?


Get a chance to talk to that teen in your life last week? We had a family dinner on Friday night where we had them pick the side dishes. And we were surprised when they picked beverages for us too! Fun when we all get to work together to make a great dinner.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month.

According to Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center, 1 in 5 students are targets of a bully. It is a staggering statistic to think about. This month, we will talk about bullying and its effects on teens who are targets and the ones who bully. Like it says above, together, we can create a world without bullying. This should be our goal.


Being the one who bullies

So much of the focus is put on preventing bullying. We tend to see only the person who is being bullied because they are the ones who are getting hurt. It is hard to imagine being the target of a bully, until you are one. But, do you know when your teen is being one who bullies?


In my second book, Shawn's Way, Ryan Ricter, is the keynote speaker at their community Say No to Bullying campaign. In his presentation, he provided a quiz to see if the teens in the audience could be a bully. Here are a couple of questions from his presentation.

  • Have you teased kids, been mean to them, made fun of the way they look or speak?

  • Have you spread nasty rumors about a kid at school?

  • Have you repeatedly teased kids, been mean to them, made fun of the way they look or speak.

How did you do? Did you answer any of these yes? Sometimes when we think we are just teasing someone about something on a consistent basis, it could be considered bullying. If 1 in 5 students are being bullied, then how many bullies are out there?


Knowing some of the activities that can make you a bully. Do you know if your teen is one who bullies?


Being one who bullies isn't always just a teen being mean to another teen. Sometimes it is a group of teens ganging up on another teen and your teen becomes part of it trying to fit in with the others. They feel it is ok because everyone else is doing it. But it isn't.

What do you do if you find out your teen is a bully?

According to an article from the Child Mind Institute, if you find out that your teen is being one who bullies, either on their own or with other kids, here are some things to keep in mind.


Communicate with them

  • Talk to your teen about the situation. Be direct with them but be open to hearing your teen's side of the story.

  • Talking through the situation with them will help you to understand why the social aggression is going on and what steps need to be taken to stop it.

Work on the solution with your teen

Once the roots of the problem are exposed, the response that needs to be taken are specific to the situation at hand.

  • You may find out that your teen is having a hard time with something that is going on at home that can be changed for your teen.

  • You may find out that your teen is hanging out with the wrong crowd and that they may need to make new friends or get involved in an activity with other teens .

  • Or, there could be a bigger issue going on that your teen may need to seek counseling for.

If any of these actions need to be taken, be sure to take them. This will not only help your teen to stop being one who bullies, but it may also help the teen who is being bullied to start to feel better about themselves.


Have you seen or heard about any bullying that your teen may not be involved in? Be sure to bring it up to your school administration. Or call the National Bullying Prevention Hotline and report it. 1-866-488-7386. The main way to stop bullying is to stand up to it.


Shawn's Way is a novel for teens

Looking for a great way to open up the conversation with your teen about bullying? Have them read Shawn's Way, book two of The Way Series, where a young freshman becomes the target of a bully and has to figure out how to navigate the stresses that come along with it. Here is a link to my site to find out more information.


Shawn's Way


Have a great week!