Preventing Juvenile Bullying: What You Can Do to Help Protect Your Teen's Record
Hearing that your teen is involved in any bullying incident is alarming enough; no parent wants to see one of their biggest fears come to fruition. What about when your teen is not on the receiving end of the incident, though? What happens when the young person in your life is the one being accused of the bullying behavior? Where can you turn, what can you do, and how can you prevent the incident from happening again?
Stay Alert to the Warning Signs
Many parents feel helpless when their child is accused of bullying, but the truth is parents do have some power when it comes to prevention and damage control. While you cannot prevent all poor choices your teen may decide to make, you can help prevent some of them by watching for signs that they might be partaking in harmful bullying activities.
For example, if you observe your teen exhibiting aggressive behavior at home, around friends, or in public--whether physical or verbal in nature--there is a good chance they may be exerting that attitude on others, on a wider scale. Stay alert to actions such as name-calling, spreading rumors about others, inappropriate sexual comments, or plans to deliberately exclude others. These are all warning signs that your teen is the victimizer, not the victim.
Other signs you should be aware of include your child spending time with friends who noticeably bully others, being sent to detention frequently, and being unwilling to accepting responsibility for their own actions. A tendency to be competitive and an unhealthy fixation on popularity are also red flags.
One of the best forms of prevention is to communicate clearly with your teen about many things and on many different levels. For starters, speak with your teen to explain what bullying is and how it can manifest itself in many different shapes and forms. Listening is just as important. Practice listening to your teen when they talk about school, their day, or life in general. Encourage and work with your child to get involved in any extracurricular activity or hobby they enjoy. You can also model respectful behavior by practicing it yourself.
Obtain Adequate Legal Representation
When it is too late for prevention and an incident has already taken place, it is time to take the next step. Along with prevention talks and efforts, perhaps one of the most crucial decisions you can make to protect your child’s record is to speak with a competent Fairfield County school bullying attorney, who can help work to dismiss your child’s criminal charges and give them a fresh slate. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 for a personal consultation.