Bullying, rape, and suicide are significant issues for teens in this era of instant connectivity thanks to social media. That’s why parents should discuss happenings like bullying with their kids as early as possible.
Fans of Jay Asher’s novel “13 Reasons Why” were pleased when Netflix revealed it was producing a miniseries based on the book. The story revolves around Hannah Baker, a high school student who took her own life and left cassette tapes for the 13 people she believes were responsible for her decision.
These recordings reveal what these 13 people did to Hannah, and viewers can learn more about them. From bullying to sharing inappropriate images and neglecting to defend her, their wrongdoings include everything from spreading rumors to sexual assault.
However, some mental health and suicide prevention specialists are concerned that Netflix’s famous show may cause more harm than good. Suicide has been linked to a rise in teen deaths, which is why the film’s producers are concerned. There is a correlation between increased media coverage and suicide rates.
Many believe the film reveals not simply an increase in brutal and unthinking bullying among teenagers but also an acceptance of sexual assault by young people. Regardless matter how you feel about the series, it has brought attention to the importance of talking to your children about bullying, sexual assault, and suicide, three of the most pressing issues affecting young people. Substance misuse is the one major teen issue that the film does not touch on.
Avoiding Difficult Topics Is a Bad Idea
The complex topics in your teen’s life won’t go away or be avoided if you avoid them as a parent. When it comes to 15 to 34-year-olds’ health, a lack of communication might potentially harm them, mainly because suicide is the second-largest cause of death for this age group.
Regarding sexual assault, women between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely to be victims than the overall population.
One in five pupils reports being bullied, according to the survey. In order to have meaningful talks with teenagers, it is imperative that you raise these issues.
Having an open, honest dialogue with your children about suicide, rape, and bullying is beneficial and may also save a life. Despite this, many parents avoid talking to their children about complex topics, such as suicide, out of fear that doing so will instill the idea in their minds. However, studies have shown that many in danger are prevented from seeking help because of the stigma and silence surrounding them.
Talking about suicide with your child can give them a new lease on life and a new sense of purpose. You’re also letting your kid know that talking about these concerns is OK.
Things to Talk About With Your Teens That Are Difficult
Parents must be direct and armed with ideas and knowledge when talking to their children about complex topics such as suicide, rape, bullying, and more.
Having Obstacles Is a Natural Part of Life.
Tell them that what they’re going through is out of the ordinary for teenagers. Many media outlets fail to represent suicide, rape, and bullying appropriately. Sensationalized or glamorized versions of it are common. Depressed or suicidal feelings among teenagers are common, but they should not be considered a natural part of adolescence.
Teens who talk about suicide are often viewed as having short-term mental health issues and are simply seeking attention. The opposite is true. Indeed, adults must pay attention to the needs of teenagers and provide them with an alternative that is both healthy and supportive.
If a person has been raped or bullied, they will not simply “get over it.” To begin the healing process, a doctor, counselor, or psychologist is needed in each of these situations. They must also be reassured that their parents will always be there for them financially and emotionally.
How to tell what’s good for you versus what isn’t
Parents need to tell their children that bullying, dating violence, sexual assault, sexting, and so on are not acceptable behaviors for teens to engage in. Abuse can occur if they assume that they are. What your kids need are examples of healthy friendships and partnerships.
A message of value and dignity must be communicated to them as well. Suicidal thoughts are also harmful to one’s well-being. If your child has discussed suicide and devised a plan, it is imperative that she see a mental health expert. An early warning indication of suicidal conduct is having suicidal thoughts.
Educate Them To Become Self-Reliant
As a parent, it’s your job to be open and honest with your children about complicated things like sexual assault, bullying, and suicide. Talking about suicide, for example, does not instill the notion in the listener’s mind. It allows for unfettered discussion of an issue normally kept under wraps.
Bullying and sexual assault are two examples of incidents typically kept under wraps. Confidential subjects, on the other hand, become less intimidating when the truth about them is made public. Talking about these issues demonstrates to your children that they are not taboo and free to bring them up at any time.
Inform Them of the Dangers That May Await Them
Your responsibility as a parent is to teach your children the value of maintaining good mental health in the same way you teach them about good physical health. Therefore, kids need to understand the warning signs and methods for seeking help in the event of a mental health crisis.
They should also know how to cope with bullying if it occurs, including how to avoid hotspots for bullying and how to stand up to a bully or protect oneself. A similar warning should be given to teenagers about the dangers of being sexually attacked at parties or by someone they’re dating. Remind them that sexual assault is never their responsibility and that you will not hold them responsible if they break a family rule, even if they are the ones who committed the offense. Let them know that you’d like to speak with them.
Maintaining Open Communication
When you talk to your children about complex and sensitive topics regularly, you help them develop the belief that you are there to support them. Suddenly, no subject is off-limits, and you’re free to answer any question.
Inform Them of Any Secrets You May Have
Make them aware of the consequences if they don’t speak up. Also, ensure your adolescent understands that holding secrets regarding bullying, sexual assault, and suicide is not healthy or wise. Adults must be present to help others in crisis, regardless of whether the problem is their own or a friend’s.
Even if it’s unpleasant or humiliating, talking to someone else is the greatest approach to obtaining assistance. Things can get worse if they don’t tell anyone what they are going through (or that of a buddy).
Show That They Aren’t On Their Own
Those who have been bullied or sexually assaulted and those who are suicidal often feel isolated, abandoned, and hopeless. Talking about these concerns and allowing kids to share their thoughts conveys the message that someone cares and that they are not alone.
Never undervalue the significance of feeling bolstered by others. It doesn’t matter if your kid has nothing substantial going on in their lives if you communicate with them daily.