Bullying is an issue that just about everyone faces at least once throughout their lives. Most of the time, a person is a victim of bullying, however in many cases each person may also play the role of the bully. When it comes to teen issues, bullying can be a serious matter.

Bullying is a tough experience for anyone to go through. Teens in particular are at an increased risk for bullying especially because of all the different types of bullying seen these days. Bullying is no longer just face-to-face victimizing and confrontation. In many cases, bullying can take place through word of mouth with verbal attacking or online through cyberbullying. Read on to learn more about bullying, how to watch out for the signs that your teen may be being bullied.

Types of bullying:

There are several different types of bullying. This can range from physical altercations that may involve actual violence or stealing or vandalizing the victim's personal possessions or property. It is easy to see how bullying can become a crime resulting in harassment, violence, theft and vandalism.  If bullying ever gets taken too far, filing criminal charges is always an option for those who cannot stop the bullying through other forms of enforcement or authority. Putting an end to bullying before it gets taken too far can potentially save lives in cases of bullycide or simply if the violence is taken too far and can turn fatal. In addition to the physical types of bullying, there are also verbal and social types of bullying. Cyberbullying occurs when the bully (this can be an individual or even a group of people) uses the Internet, texting, email, social networking sites and other digital technologies to inflict harm upon others. This can include defamation of character by spreading malicious lies and rumors about the bulling victim. This often occurs when the individual or group decides to gang up on the victim and spread these lies and rumors on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. However, it can also occur when the victim receives harsh or threatening emails and text messages. Cyberbullying is on the rise and it is becoming difficult to track the responsible parties. Verbal bullying also takes place face-to-face, at school or after school. There is really no safe space from bullying.

Who are likely to become bullies?

There is a misconception that those who suffer from the hands of abuse are likely to become bullies themselves. While this scenario does happen, bullies are not always victims. There are plenty of bullies out there who do so because they enjoy the feelings of power they get from bullying. Those who  bully often have anger management issues or exhibit violent and manipulative behaviors. Those who are showing these signs need mental treatment in order to discontinue their abusive behavior. Bullies can range from the neighborhood bully kid to teen girls as well as adults. Just about anyone is at risk for becoming a bully.

Who is likely to become a victim of bullying?

Most people have been the victim of some kind of bullying or another throughout the course of their lives. It may take place as a child or teen while at school, or it could take place as an adult in the workplace. Teen bullying is very common and continues to rise. It is important to know how to look for the signs to see if your child is being bullied and to know how to put a stop to it. Those who are bullied often will show signs of change in eating habits, missing/stolen items, trouble sleeping, avoiding certain places, talks about suicide, shows signs of depression or anxiety. If your teen is showing any of these signs, it is important to talk to them to find out if they are being bullied. Create an open dialog with your teen to make sure they know you can go to you for help with bullying.

Ways to stop or prevent bullying:

Bullying is a serious issue and should be stopped as soon as possible. Even if you have to report the incidents to school authorities or file criminal charges, it is important to take action. Do not just ignore bullying with hope it will go away. One of the best ways to put a stop to bullying or prevent it before it starts, is to make sure your child or teen is not in a situation where they will have to deal with being a victim. Those at risk for bullying are often loners or do not have many friends making them an easy target. Help and encourage your teen to find a solid group of friends that can provide as a strong support system in cases of bullying. Work on your teen's self-esteem. Those who struggle with bullying often have low self-esteem, so it is important to help your teen remain strong and convicted about who they are in order to prevent bullying.

Sources: mychildsafety.net, http://www.stopbullying.gov/

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