ON A KINDER NOTE with Dolly's Dream | Encouraging teens to ask for help against bullying

Too many teens still keep quiet about bullying, but there are ways parents can help. Picture: shutterstock
Too many teens still keep quiet about bullying, but there are ways parents can help. Picture: shutterstock

No one should have to cope with bullying alone.

For teens who've been bullied, talking to parents and other trusted adults is one of the best 'first steps' for dealing with bullying.

However, too many teens still keep quiet about bullying.

Common reasons include:

  • They are embarrassed or afraid of seeming 'weak'
  • They are afraid the bullying will get worse if they tell
  • They don't believe adults can help them
  • They are afraid their parents will confiscate their technology
  • They don't want their parents knowing the details of what happened - Some bullying is about sensitive topics like sexual relationships or same-sex attraction.

What can parents do?

Teach our teens to recognise when they need help, such as when they can't solve a problem, or are feeling stressed, upset, scared, sleepless, or overwhelmed. Help them make a list of trusted adults they could talk to.

Teach them the key steps to asking for help, including deciding whom to ask, thinking about what to say beforehand, finding a quiet time and place to talk, and telling other people if the first person can't help them.

Remind them that everyone needs help sometimes - including parents!

For more information, visit parenthub.dollysdream.org.au/

- Jessie Mitchell, Dolly's Dream