Is my child being bullied? What signs do parents need to look out for?
Bullying affects one in every four Australian students. But are parents aware of what signs to look out for to know if their own children are being bullied?
But how would you explain the recent cases of teenage suicides (documented in social media sites) that went unnoticed?
Geraldine Moran, author and life coach who specializes in parent-teen coaching, said, “Often it is what our teens don’t tell us that speaks volumes. Sometimes their most challenging events translate into behaviours that are misunderstood at home.”
Mrs Moran said that often with events like bullying or breakups, teenagers are reluctant to discuss too much, particularly with their parents. But there are changes in their behavior that could show they are under stress.
She added, “It is vital to create an open and trusting environment between parents and teens. It is important to make teens feel comfortable to talk with their parents.”
“This will ensure that parents can assist them through difficulties, rather than getting caught in the emotional turmoil around them,” said Mrs Moran.
According to Mrs Moran, some strategies that parents can apply are:
• Allow your teens to trust you enough to be their friend on Facebook. You’ll have a better understanding about what’s happening with them. At least get someone that you and your teen both trust as their friend on Facebook.
• Have dinner together at least four nights per week. Turn off the TV.
• During dinner ask everyone three questions about their day- What was the best thing that happened? What was the worst thing that happened? What might you do differently?
Mrs Moran, who is the brains behind OZ Spectrum Success Coaching, is also encouraging parents to allow and create quality time with their teens without distraction. This will help them deal with things in a way where they seek out your advice because they understand that you are there for them.
“Creating this space for your teens will allow them to see you as human and caring. It will encourage them to open up to you and speak with you about the issues that may be causing them anguish,” Mrs Moran said.
Oz Spectrum Success Coaching runs regular workshops and coaching programs for parents and their teens. Programs include “Parent / Teen – parent as coach approach” ®; “Harmony in the Home”; “Help Decode Your Child’s Secret Language”
About Geraldine Moran
Geraldine is a qualified solicitor who chose to do something different with her life and so went back and studied psychology and then trained as a Life Coach. She brings a wealth of experience from her work in government and private enterprise. Her inspiration is helping others find their success across their life and business.