Diet and Exercise At A Boarding School For Troubled Boys

One of the main appeals of a boarding school for troubled teen boys is the immersive therapeutic atmosphere. However, it is important for balance to be reached, so the best boarding schools for troubled teens tend to implement well-rounded diet and exercise plans into their programs.

Boarding Schools For Troubled Boys Focus On Healthy Nutrition

How each boarding school for troubled teens develops a healthy diet plan will vary from school-to-school. At Liahona Treatment Center, we have implemented three main meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—with a snack between lunch and dinner to help tide the growing teen boys over.

As for the meals themselves, we provide our students with well-rounded meals that have a strong emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods. That way, our students can receive the correct amount of vitamins and minerals to support their physical, mental, and emotional health.

Also, to ensure that our students stay healthy and are receiving their necessary nutrition, we accommodate food sensitivities and allergies such as celiac disease, lactose-intolerant, nut allergies, and more. We also have a strong medical staff with a doctor and nurses to help any students who may need specialized meal plans to support their health.

Exercise Plays A Key Role At Boarding Schools For Troubled Boys

Along with the emphasis on fulfilling and healthy nutrition, exercise plays a significant part in boarding schools for troubled teens. In our program’s daily routine, the morning begins with a structured run then some free time to just enjoy movement. Many of the boys will play basketball, touch football, and other team-based sports while supervised by the direct care staff.

By starting the morning with exercise, our students can burn off energy before moving into activities which are more sedentary. Teenage boys in particular benefit from this practice as many of them struggled in public schools with the long, sedentary days trapped in a classroom with little opportunities for exercise.

Instead, at a boarding school for troubled boys, our program is tailored to give them the rush of exercise endorphins to help regulate moods while helping them be ready to participate in group therapy and other parts of our program which require strong cognitive focus.

By blending therapy, academics, exercise, and nutrition, our students at Liahona Treatment Center have been able to make more progress toward a more positive life than they had previously been able to achieve. If you would like to learn more about our program, contact us. One of our program advisors will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Finding Independence At A School For Troubled Teens

An aspect of a school for troubled teens which surprises some parents is how the program works to help teens find independence. But as teens struggle with depression, substance abuse, or other issues, it makes sense to help teens learn how to become independent and overcome these life roadblocks.

Importance Of Independence For Teens

While many troubled teens seem to be too independent, the kind of acting out which characterizes troubled teens is really just another form of dependence.

Consider this—say a teen is defying their parents to stay out late and party with friends, sometimes engaging in underage drinking and drug abuse. Some may call that being independent, but if you examine the root of why the teen is acting that way, dependence is one of the key issues, as the teen depends on their friends' acceptance and the uses of illegal substances to feel better.

Breaking those chains of dependence and developing healthy independence takes the coordination of a healthy environment where the teen can grow and a program designed to assist teens in reaching the right track, which is where a school for troubled teens come in.

How Schools For Troubled Teen Promote Independence

For teens who attend an all-boys boarding school like Liahona Treatment Center, changes and healthy independence can be worked toward thanks to various program emphasizes.

  • Personal development focus - While many adults eventually learn how to set and reach personal development goals, this can be a hard skill for teens to acquire, especially if they have already fallen into bad habits. While attending a school for troubled teens, personal development is a focal point, and teens learn how to set and achieve personal goals.
  • Learn necessary life skills - Troubled teens often miss out on necessary life skills ranging from proper hygiene to socializing soft skills needed for jobs and interpersonal interactions. At a school for troubled teens, these skills can be learned and practiced.
  • Improve academics - Having low grades can hold teens back from many opportunities, leaving them dependent on parents and low-skills jobs. To help troubled teens reach a more independent future, they can work with licensed teachers and tutor to improve their grades and rejoin their peers academically.
  • Therapy-guided growth - To help make permanent changes, therapy is needed to assist troubled teens in overcoming their struggles. By working one-on-one with a therapist, as well as daily group therapy and weekly family therapy sessions, teens can make real, permanent changes in their lives by identifying the root of their struggles and developing appropriate coping tools.

At Liahona Treatment Center, we have helped countless troubled teenage boys learn how to become independent and happy young men who are ready to meet the challenges that life throws at them. If you would like to see if our program could help your son, contact us. One of our program advisors will be happy to talk with you and determine if Liahona is the right for your troubled son’s needs.

Helping Suicidal Teens At A Residential Treatment Center

As our society works to destigmatize mental health, discussions about suicide are still hard to have with our loved ones, especially when it comes to talking about it with an already depressed teen, as many parents are afraid that talking about it will put the idea in their heads.

Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide is the third leading cause of death among our youth from ages 10-24, and many other teens struggle with suicidal thoughts. These facts make it clear that parents need to be proactive in helping their suicidal teens.

Commonly, outpatient therapy with a trained mental health professional combined with family support can help a struggling teen overcome their suicidal feelings and thoughts. However, for some troubled teens, this course is not enough, and they need the immersive, therapeutic environment a residential treatment center can provide.

Why Choose A Residential Treatment Center For A Suicidal Teen

Residential treatment centers are often recommended for various reasons, from helping deviant teens to assisting ones struggling with ADD/ADHD. They are also equipped to help suicidal teens as treatment centers have these key things available:

  • Licensed therapists - Therapeutic immersion is a key aspect of any residential treatment center, as it is impossible to help troubled teens truly change without reaching the root of their struggles. By choosing to send your teen to a residential treatment center, you can feel confident in knowing they will be under the care and guidance of certified mental health specialists who have specialized in working with troubled teens.
  • Medical and other professional staffers - Along with the strong therapeutic aspect, there are a number of other professionals at a residential treatment center to help round out your suicidal teen’s care team. From the medical staff to provide medications and other assistance, there are also licensed teachers, program directors, clinical directors, and direct care staff to help your teen find their way back to the right path.
  • Supportive and safe environment - While your home may be a supportive and safe environment, there are other factors which may be contributing to your teen’s depression and suicidal thoughts such as bullying at school or drama among their friend group. While your teen attends residential treatment, they will be surrounded with supportive staffers to help monitor them and continually encouraged to make positive choices.

Ways Residential Treatment Helps Suicidal Teens

Along with providing a suicidal teen with many of the tools to overcome their struggles, residential treatment centers offer a structured program. The ways this program helps suicidal teens are:

Multiple types of therapy - Traditional therapy, also known as talk therapy, is just one of the types of therapy which residential treatment centers can provide for struggling teens. Other kinds of therapy available are:

  • Weekly family therapy sessions which are overseen by the teen’s therapist to help families heal together.
  • Individual therapy sessions, usually about 90-minutes a week, though it can be adjusted for a teen in crisis.
  • Daily group therapy sessions, allowing the teens to receive support from their peers and learn how to develop healthy friendships.
  • Experiential therapy, which focuses on therapeutic experiences such as wilderness hikes and other sensory-centered experiences.

Strong academic program - Depressed and suicidal teens often fall behind in their schooling. An accredited academic program should be available at any good residential treatment center. That way, your teen can redo classes where they performed poorly and catch back up with their peers academically.

Spirituality-focused development - Total healing requires a balance between the body, mind, and soul, so most residential treatment centers have some spirituality-centered development built into their programs. Some are religion-specific, but many others are non-denominational and will encourage whatever religious teaching the parents recommend for their teen.

Enrichment activities - Along with the serious work of healing, there are enriching activities for teens at residential treatment. From holiday celebrations to community service, teens will be able to experience a variety of new things and some old ones done in a new way.

Liahona Treatment Center Helps Troubled Teens Change

Here at Liahona Treatment Center, we have helped a countless number of troubled teenage boys struggling with a variety of problems.

We offer excellent, top-rated services to help your son recover from his struggle with suicidal thoughts, with a clinical staff that has mental health professionals and a medical doctor as well as registered nurses and other great staff members. With our commitment to helping every boy who enters our program become the best young man possible, we have a track record of success which is reflected in our testimonials.

If you would like to discuss your teenage son’s difficulties with one of our program advisors, contact us. We can help you determine if Liahona is the right place for your son’s healing.

Signs and Causes Of Sexual Deviance In Youth

A certain amount of curiosity and interest in sex is to be expected from teenagers. With all the hormones coursing through their bodies and their brains still developing, it is not surprising that some troubled teens go astray and fall into deviant sexual activity, no matter what your family rules dictate.

What Drives Teens To Become Sexually Active

While research has shown that the rates of teens engaging in adult activities like sex, alcohol consumption, and other things have seen a marked decrease, there are still many teens who engage in sexual activity. What many parents struggle to understand is why.

There are a variety of common reasons for your teen's sexual activity.

  • Sexual curiosity - The hormones surging through your teen’s body plays a part in greatly heightening your teen’s natural curiosity and interest in sex. Parents who prefer to keep their teens in the dark about sex often find their teens go out to satisfy that curiosity firsthand, but without the tools to keep themselves safe. This fact, in part, is why it is so important for parents to take the lead in teaching sex ed to their children.
  • Pressure from partner - Teens with a boyfriend or girlfriend may undergo a good deal of pressure to have sex or be physically intimate in other ways. Their desire to be accepted can lead many young couples to engage in sexual activity before they are ready.
  • Peer pressure - Both teenage boys and girls can experience pressure to engage in sexual activity from their peers. This pressure can be fueled by a desire to seem older and more experienced. Or even a more simple need to keep up with the rest of the kids at school.
  • Defiance of rules - In an act of defiance, some teens choose to engage in sexual activity. Parents highly restrictive rules, such as no dating until 18 or who insist on monitoring their teens at all times often find their teens sneak around their rules in an attempt to exert their growing need for independence.

In some more extreme cases, sexual deviance may be triggered in teens due to sexual abuse, whether by a partner or when they were children. In these cases, it is vital that the teen receives therapeutic intervention to help them overcome the trauma. But first, you have to identify whether or not your teen is sexually active before you know how to intervene.

Signs That Your Teen Has Become Sexually Active

If you are concerned that your teen has begun engaging in risky sexual activity, there are signs you can look out for as you watch your teen. Should your teen display several of these signs, you can be fairly certain that they are sexually active.

  • Tracks your activities - Teens who are sneaking around engaging in sex will often want to know your schedule better than you know it. That way, they don’t run the risk of you catching them in the act.
  • Increased secretiveness - Around the teenage years, it is natural for teens to be less open with their parents and a little more withdrawn. However, if your teen shows a marked increase in secretiveness, such as guarding their devices and hiding their bag, you should be concerned.
  • Appearance alteration - Finding their style is a common pursuit among teens. However, teens engaging in sexual activity may become more appearance driven, buying more provocative clothes and spending hours on exercise as well as strict dieting.
  • Rapid mood swings - The rush of dopamine released by sexual activity can have a profound effect on the mood of teenagers. Teens engaging in illicit sexual activity are often subject to rapid mood swings, experiencing elation and deep depression as well as irritability in turns.
  • Plummeting grades - Teens often allow their other interests and responsibilities like their schoolwork to fall by the wayside while pursuing sexual activity. If your teen normally has been able to maintain good grades, but they have recently slipped, this can be a sign your teen’s attention is elsewhere.
  • Obtaining birth control - A pretty clear sign of sexual activity is if you find birth control such as contraception pills, condoms, or other forms of birth control in your teen’s possession.

Often, when parents learn that their teens are sexually active, they try to set stronger rules, have conversations about the responsibility of sex, and reinforce beliefs which may censure sex outside of marriage. However, this may not be enough to stop a sexually deviant youth.

How Residential Treatment Centers Help Sexually Deviant Teens

After you have tried all you could, from grounding to interventions with school counselors and therapists and your teen is still engaging in sexual activity, you may want to consider sending your troubled teen to a residential treatment center.

Some of the key ways a residential treatment center helps sexually active teens change are by:

  • Building teens’ self-esteem - Many overly sexual teens struggle with feelings of worthlessness, which leads them to fill the void with sexual attention. At a residential treatment center, teens learn new skills, build confidence through new challenges, and opportunities to provide service to others.
  • Having teens work with therapists - Sexually deviant teens don’t just happen. To reach the root of their issues and help them change, certified mental health professionals work with teens at a residential treatment center.
  • Teaching teens new coping skills - Some teens use sex as a coping method to help them from feeling lonely, unappreciated, and other negative emotions. When in residential treatment, teens learn new ways to cope with the feelings which used to drive them to engage in sex.
  • Helping teens repair academics - As the teens recover from their sexual deviance, a residential treatment center helps the teens' course correct in other aspects of their lives, such as their academics. With the help of state-licensed teachers, teens can enjoy academic recovery.

Liahona Treatment Center is here to help your troubled teen boy back onto the right path. With the help of our expert therapists, teachers, and staff, we work with teenage boys and assist them in rooting out the source of their problems while repairing negative coping methods. To see if our program is right for your teenage troubled son, contact us today.

Two Troubled Teens Who Managed To Turn Their Lives Around

When parents are in the midst of struggling with a troubled teenager, it can be hard to imagine that anything will change. Here at Liahona Treatment Center, we assist many troubled boys to grow into successful young men who managed to turn their lives around, and we wanted to share the stories of two of these teens’ stories to give hope to all the parents hoping for change.

Liahona Graduate John Changed His Focus

John had enjoyed a good childhood in Michigan, but when his family moved to Idaho when he was in seventh grade, he began to become involved with the wrong crowd.

In an attempt to feel special and to find his place in the world, John started to fight with his parents, lie, sneak out of the house, physically fighting with his father, skip school, and began abusing illegal substances. John kept chasing the high and was sent to live with various family members to try and distance him from the people who were drawing him down negative paths.

In a last ditch effort to save John, his parents sent him to Liahona Treatment Center for his senior year of school. When he first came to Liahona, John said he resented being there and was upset with his family for sending him away.

But as he progressed through the program, John began to change. With the help of his therapist and the other staff members, John’s focus moved from himself to supporting others and loving his family. He was able to finally recognize the sacrifices they had made for him, and John began to help other students learn what he has learned.

The John who went home to his family was not the same boy who entered Liahona Treatment Center, and he never wanted to be that troubled teen again.

Liahona Graduate Conner Invited Transformation

Before Connor even reached high school, he became involved with a group of older kids who influenced him into joining in with their criminal activities and substance abuse. Connor tried to use sports to escape the path he was following, but when he blew out his knee his sophomore year, he fell into depression and began to use drugs heavily to escape.

After being kicked out of several schools and continuing to abuse drugs, Connor’s parents decided it was time to send him to a therapeutic boarding school and chose Liahona Treatment Center.

While Connor was not happy to be in our program, he decided to go with the flow and avoid trouble so he could go home early. But, by working with his assigned therapist, staff members and the other students attending, Connor surprised himself by finding he was becoming happier.

Once he realized that he could change, Connor opened his heart to the transformative process we encourage here at Liahona. He learned to study and focus during his classes, discovered healthy new coping methods, and built strong bonds with others. All these skills and others, John was able to take home with him as he reunited with his family.

If you have exhausted your resources and your teenage son has still not been able to change his life, contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you have about our program and see if Liahona Treatment Center is the right fit for your loved one.

Take Advantage of Distance When Sending Your Troubled Teen To Boarding School

For parents of troubled teens, it can hard to imagine what to do with your time once your troubled teen goes away to a school for troubled teens. If you wonder if you will be at loose ends and don’t know what to do, we have some suggestions to help you effectively use the time while your teen is away.

Relax Knowing Your Troubled Teen Is Finally Safe

By the time parents decide to send their teen away to either a boarding school or residential treatment center, they are often near the breaking point due to stress, grief, frustration, and other negative emotions. The idea of relaxation is generally so foreign to them as it has been years since they feel like it is safe to relax.

But once your troubled teen is away, give yourself permission to relax. With your teenager in a safe, healthy and healing environment, you no longer have to keep bracing yourself for when the next disaster will come.

Utilize Family Therapy To Revitalize Ties With Troubled Teen

While your teen is away at their boarding school for troubled teens, schools like Liahona Treatment Center will provide once a week family therapy sessions overseen by your child’s therapist.

As the therapist facilitates these sessions, your family will be able to rebuild their connection to your teen while they receive treatment. In this kind of healthy environment, you and your teen will be able to revitalize family bonds which have become damaged as a direct result of the teen’s actions.

Take Time To Reconnect With Loved Ones

Troubled teens can require the majority of their parents’ attention, taking it away from their siblings and other loved ones. With your troubled teen safely away at a boarding school, parents can focus on reconnecting with their other loved ones.

Seize Self-Care Opportunities With Your Teen Away At School

Much like the ability to relax, parents of a troubled teen often neglect self-care while their child is in turmoil. The long neglect of self-care can leave some parents feeling guilty when they try to do something for themselves, even if it is as simple as buying a new book to read. But it is important to take time to rebuild personal energy so you can still effective offer support to your teen as they are away at school.

To learn more about the Liahona Treatment Center program, contact us. We are ready to help you discover if our program is right for your troubled teenage son.

Insurance and Other Common Ways Parents Finance A Boarding School for Troubled Teens

As boarding schools for troubled teens offer many excellent services and experienced staff to parents who have troubled teens, it can be costly to have a struggling teenager attend. However, you don’t have to be absurdly well-off to afford the best care for your child.

To help you determine how your family can wrangle your finances to send your struggling teen to a therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens, we have covered how others commonly pay for their teen’s attendance.

Health Insurance May Cover Boarding School For Troubled Teens

If you have health insurance that offers coverage for mental health, you may be able to pay for your teen’s therapeutic boarding school attendance with your insurance.

You will need to contact your insurance provider to determine what requirements the boarding school must meet before coverage is given. A licensed therapeutic boarding school for troubled teens should have the right staff and provide the necessary care to qualify it for insurance coverage.

Loans Are Commonly Utilized By Concerned Parents

Many parents turn to loans to cover their struggling children’s treatment at a boarding school for troubled teens. The two most commonly utilized loans are:

  • Educational loan - Banks and credit unions offer educational loans so that parents can pay for their K-12 children's education. These loans are often lower interest than other private loans.
  • Home equity loan - Parents who are also homeowners can take out a home equity loan or a second mortgage to pay for treatment. While the home equity loan payments would not be tax-deductible if the loan is used to pay for the schooling, the second mortgage payments would be deductible.

Boarding Schools For Troubled Teens Offer Payment Options

Boarding schools for troubled teens understand that paying for your child’s care can be difficult. To help alleviate this problem, most schools offer a variety of payment options. Some of the most common options are:

  • Financing - Most schools work with a third-party health care lender to help parents finance their teens’ treatment.
  • Tuition discounts - If your teen’s stay at the therapeutic boarding school is paid for upfront, many schools offer discounts.
  • Payment plans - Some schools will be able to offer payment plans to families who cannot afford the upfront cost of boarding school attendance.

Here at Liahona Treatment Center, we understand that sending your teen to us for treatment can be financially hard on a family. We offer financing help for parents. To learn more about our program, contact us.

4 Reasons Why Youth Boot Camps Don’t Work To Modify Unwanted Behavior

Sending a rebellious teenager to a youth boot camp has a strong allure for frustrated parents everywhere. The military-style discipline promoted by these camps can make these parents believe that firm guidance is all their teens need to make the right choices. However, there are 4 main reasons why youth boot camps don’t work to modify behavior—in fact, boot camps can make undesirable behaviors worse.

Only Short-Term Changes Occur At Boot Camps

While boot camps are a popular type of troubled teen program, these strict camps are only effective at creating short-term changes for their charges. While attending a youth boot camp, teens are provided with a highly-regulated setting, where they are expected to comply with orders and are often required to undertake a lot of physical exertion. These factors combine to create a more compliant teen.

Once removed from the strenuous environment, many troubled teens backslide into their old bad habits. Some teens may hide their delinquency so that their parents do not send them back to a boot camp, but the changes are skin-deep at best.

Behavioral Modification Requires Therapy

Youth boot camps rely almost solely on experiential therapy—a therapeutic practice that uses experiences to affect behavioral changes—to create behavioral modifications in their charges. While there is merit in incorporating experiential therapy into a troubled teen’s rehabilitation, it should not be the primary therapeutic method.

Poor behavior is rooted in internal causes, and to properly address the source, therapy with a qualified therapist is vital to lasting behavioral modification. As most youth boot camps lack licensed therapeutic staff, it is no wonder why teens’ behaviors never truly change.

Military-Like Discipline May Send The Wrong Message

Since youth boot camps are designed to mimic a military boot camp, there are usually authoritarian figures in charge of the teens. The barking, strict discipline offered by these individuals can reinforce the idea in teens that the most effective way to behave is to be aggressive and use power to control others.

So, if you have a teen who struggles with anger management, a youth boot camp is the last place you should consider sending them.

No After-Program Assistance With Behavior Modification

Not only are youth boot camps short programs, but there is usually no after-program transition home assistance offered. As there is little opportunity for permanent transformation over the course of the boot camp, it becomes difficult for parents to provide their teens with the structure they need to maintain the changes they may have started to make.

Here at Liahona Treatment Center, our residential treatment center provides structure, multiple types of therapy, academic support, and family rebuilding assistance for troubled teen boys. Contact us to learn more about our program and how it can help your family.

Recognizing and Treating Substance Abuse Within A Residential Treatment Center For Teens

Many teens naturally become more private as they grow older, no longer sharing every detail of their lives with their parents. While this withdrawal is tough, it is an important part of your teen’s development. However, some troubled teens become secretive because they are hiding a substance abuse problem.

We want to help you identify the difference between a natural desire for privacy and substance abuse issues, as well as covering how a residential treatment center can help your child make important changes.

Signs Your Teen Is Abusing Drugs

Unless you catch your teen in the act of using drugs or have them take random drug tests, you will need to look for several different signs to see if they are involved in substance abuse.

  • Check your medicine cabinet - Many parents immediately think of street drugs when discussing teen substance abuse. But many teens find their fix at home, abusing opioids prescribed to other family members.
  • Teen’s location is unknown - If your teen regularly disappears, and you don’t know where they are or when they will return, this can be a sign they are abusing illegal substances or engaged in other activities your teen knows you wouldn’t approve of if you knew about them.
  • Personal changes appear - Watch your teen for a variety of personal changes that seem to have no explanation such as bloodshot eyes, poor personal hygiene, smokey smells clinging, and frequent fatigue or hunger.
  • Drop in activity levels - If your teen’s grades have dropped, this can be a sign of substance abuse. Often, as their grades drop, teens who abuse drugs also lose interest in activities they used to like to do.

Residential Treatment Centers Help Teens Overcome Substance Abuse

Once you have identified that your teen has a substance abuse problem, it is vital to give them the help they need. Attending a rehab center is an essential step, but if your teen returns home after a short stay in rehab to detox, there is a high likelihood that your teen will relapse. Instead, you should consider a residential treatment center for troubled teens as the next step in your teen’s recovery.

There is a variety of ways that a residential treatment center can help your teen make important changes in their life.

  • When in treatment, your teen will receive daily therapy to help them uncover the root cause behind their substance abuse.
  • Academics will be addressed, helping your teen recover from the damage their drug abuse did to their grades.
  • Teens attending a residential treatment center learn new skills such as culinary arts, music, community service abilities, and more, helping troubled teens replace bad habits.

If your teen has struggled with substance abuse and has not been able to make permanent lifestyle changes, contact us. Our program advisors can answer your questions and tell you whether Liahona Treatment Center is right for your teenage son.

The Differences Between Bullying and Teasing

While many private schools and institutions have seen success at ending bullying, public education continues to struggle. According to the National Center for Education Statistics 2015 report, over one in five students reported being bullied at school. Yet, many public schools still lack bullying awareness programs.

The absence of anti-bullying education can be due to a variety of reasons, such as shortage of funding for anti-bullying programs, lack of community support, and other considerations. Some people may even brush bullying off as simple teasing. But there is a key difference which sets bullying and teasing apart.

Bullying Is Different From Teasing Due To Intention

Defining the difference between bullying and teasing all comes down to intention. When it comes to bullying behaviors, the intention is to hurt the target. Teasing is not meant to hurt and is instead a form of communication between friends and types of close relationships.

These definitions can be a little vague. To help eliminate any confusion, there are some clear ways you and your children can identify when someone is teasing or bullying.

How To Identify Teasing

There are a variety of situations and ways in which teasing is an appropriate form of communication. As you read through the teasing identifiers, keep in mind that the feelings of the target are the most important tool in defining when teasing turns to bullying.

A close relationship exists - A key thing for children and teens to understand is that teasing should only be done between friends and other close relationships. Otherwise, it is easy for the target of their teasing to misinterpret the action as bullying.

Everyone is teased equally - Many times, friends will tease one another as a form of communication. This type of light, teasing communication can help friends connect and share values when done correctly.

Teasing stops when requested - Teasing can go too far, even among those who know each other well. A hallmark of teasing is that when the target of the teasing asks the other person to stop, the request is respected. Often, bullies will not stop their behaviors when asked.

No one thing is repeatedly addressed - Continued teasing on the same subject can make the target of the teasing feel defensive and hurt. Teasing should not repeatedly pick at any one topic.

How To Identify Bullying

When it comes to bullying, there is generally an established pattern of behavior which makes identifying bullying behaviors easy.

The bully establishes a pattern of behavior - Bullies tend to stick to a set pattern of behaviors. Some bullies rely on verbal bullying tactics, while others will continually physically intimidate and verbally attack their targets. While these patterns can change and escalate, the victim of the bullying can usually pinpoint a clear pattern of their bully’s behavior.

Bullying target(s) are negatively impacted - As was said earlier, the intention is vital in defining teasing and bullying. If the intention is to harm and the target(s) are negatively impacted, then the behavior can be identified as bullying.

A power imbalance is created between bully and target - Bullies create a negative power imbalance between themselves and their target. Children and teens who identify a sense of helplessness and powerlessness to stop a person’s negative behaviors are clearly being bullied.

Teens who have fallen into bullying habits may require therapeutic help to undo their bullying habits. Parents who identify bullying behaviors in their teens should do their best to address the bullying while their teens are not set in their ways.

Ending Bullying Takes Everyone’s Help

Researchers have determined that there are strong connections between bullying and teen suicidal ideation, as well as depression, substance abuse, and violent behavior. Clearly, this means that putting a stop to bullying takes much more than telling the bullied child to grow a thicker skin.

Instead of just saying ineffective platitudes, there are ways in which children, teens, and adults can work together to end bullying.

How Children And Teens Can Stop Bullying

Keep the situation from escalating - Some bullies use physical intimidation and violence. If your child or teen is being bullied by a volatile troubled teen, help them develop strategies to defuse the situation. Some tactics which may help are:

  • Stick close with friends, as some bullies will avoid acting out violently in front of witnesses.
  • If your child sees someone being bullied who is alone, encourage them to invite the target into their friend group.
  • If your child is not the target, they can defuse the situation by distracting the bully. This distraction can be as simple as asking them a question.

Avoid encouraging a bully - Many bullies enjoy verbally abusing their targets around others, usually under the guise of “joking” but with the intention of hurting the target. Encourage your children not to laugh at mean-spirited jokes which make fun of others.

Inform an adult about bullying - Whether your child is the target of bullying or sees someone bullied, encourage them to report it to an adult they trust. Some children and teens may be embarrassed to tell their parents about bullying, so be sure they know it is okay to tell whoever they feel most comfortable confiding in.

Ways Parents And Other Adults Can Put An End To Bullying

Listen to your children’s concerns - It can be tough to catch everything going on in your children’s lives. But often, children who are bullied will drop hints of their problems as they tell you about their day. If your child has the courage to tell you outright that they are being bullied, be sure not to dismiss their assessment of the situation.

Vote for bullying awareness measures - Every public school should have a parent-teacher association/organization. In these organizations, often measures like bullying awareness and prevention programs are voted on. Your participation and encouragement of anti-bullying measures will make it far more likely that your child’s school will be better able at ending bullying.

Coordinate with school administration - If your child is being bullied at school, working with the school’s administration and your child’s teachers is critical to protecting your student while they are at school. Teachers and administrators who are aware of a bullying issue will be better able to intervene when the bullying occurs.

Work with the bully’s parents - This step can be tough, as parents who have a bullying child often struggle to believe that their child is bullying someone. However, it can be worth bringing the bully’s parents into a meeting between you and the school administration to develop a plan to end the bullying.

Ending bullying requires everyone to be educated and participate in finding solutions. There are many other excellent resources you can use at home to help you and your family become more effective at preventing bullying. We strongly encourage you to advocate for better bullying awareness and prevention in your own community, as bullying will only be stopped if we all work together.