Teens stuff that’s good to know about….



What can I do if I am being bullied? Your school may already have a way of dealing with bullying. For example, some schools…

  • have anti-bullying guidelines and procedures for dealing with incidents
  • encourage anyone who is being bullied, or has witnessed bullying to tell someone about it
  • have ‘bully boxes’ where people can leave notes about what is happening
  • have student meetings or even ‘courts’ where problems like bullying are discussed and dealt with
  • have specially assigned students or teachers who are there to help

If your school has an anti-bullying system, use it to get help. If you’re not sure how it works then talk to a teacher.
Some schools ignore bullying but don’t become resigned to being a victim. You can still help yourself and ask others to help you. Bullying doesn’t stop at school, some workplaces, sportsclubs and other social clubs have bullying too. The same principles apply. Don’t put up with bullying, you don’t deserve it.

Cyber-bullying, Facebook, email, messenger, text messages etc.

If someone is picking on you via your mobile phone, don’t put up with it! There is a lot your service provider can do, such as change you over to a new number, warn the bully or even bar them from the network.

REMEMBER: Never be tempted to reply to the bully as if you do your provider isn’t able to help you.

If there is ever any threat to life, call the police on 111 immediately

If you are being bullied via your phone, call your provider on the following numbers:

  • 2degrees – 0800 022 022
  • Spark – 0800 651 000
  • Vodafone – 777 from your mobile or 0800 800 021 from a different phone.
  • Skinny – 0800 475 4669
  • Warehouse Mobile – 0800 422 274

Tell a friend what is happening.

Ask him or her to help you. It will be harder for the bully to pick on you if you have a friend with you for support.
Try to ignore the bullying or say ‘No’ really firmly, then turn and walk away. Don’t worry if people think you are running away. Remember, it is very hard for the bully to go on bullying someone who won’t stand still to listen.

Try not to show that you are upset or angry.

Bullies love to get a reaction – it’s ‘fun’. If you can keep calm and hide your emotions, they might get bored and leave you alone. As one teenager said to us, ‘they can’t bully you if you don’t care’.

Don’t fight back if you can help it.

Most bullies are bigger or stronger than you. If you fight back you could make the situation worse, get hurt or be blamed for starting the trouble.

It’s not worth getting hurt to keep possessions or money. If you feel threatened, give the bullies what they want. Property can be replaced, you can’t.

Try to think up funny or clever replies in advance.

Make a joke of it. Replies don’t have to be wonderfully brilliant or clever but it helps to have an answer ready. Practice saying them in the mirror at home. Using prepared replies works best if the bully is not too threatening and just needs to be put off. The bully might just decide that you are too clever to pick on.

Keep a diary of what is happening.

Write down what details of the incidents and your feelings. When you do decide to tell someone, a written record of the bullying makes it easier to prove what has been going on.

(source: kidscape.org.uk)

Most schools and workplaces treat bullying seriously and so should you. You are not alone in dealing with this just talk to your parents, or contact us, for more advice

Remember you are amazing!


Remember when you were young and were worried about making friends? Would people notice my difference? Would it be more difficult to make friends?

Now you know that it didn’t really make any difference. And there were some benefits – your friends are true friends, you weeded out all those superficial people who were not worth your friendship. Your circle of friends accept you as you are, as you do them – warts and all.

And that’s how it should be for more serious relationships.

Remember it isn’t easy finding the perfect boyfriend or girlfriend. But here are some good tips about friendships in general that you should remember.

Good things take time

  • You are amazing – the right person for you will recognise and appreciate it
  • Show an interest in what people do, what makes them tick
  • Be able to give and receive compliments but don’t go overboard
  • Be happy and smile
  • Laugh at people’s jokes
  • Be kind and thoughtful to other’s feelings
  • Join in
  • Be willing to share
  • Take the initiative – invite people to do something
  • Be interesting and positive
  • Don’t take it too seriously – life changes quickly
  • Take it slowly – it will be worth the wait
  • Your heart may be broken, but that too will pass. If it feels to overwhelming talk to someone.
  • Resilience. Try and try again.
  • Don’t take it too personally. Some people don’t see our brilliance, but it is still there waiting for someone else to appreciate

Where to get some support

Cleft New Zealand – ask your peers, they know what this is like.
Contact Youthline on 0800 37 66 33

Your future, your options

As you grow up from a child to an adult you become more responsible for your own medical care choices. Parents will always be there to support you, but your feelings, wants and needs are important. This is a period of change as you become more involved with medical professionals directly without your parent’s direction. You and your family are in control of this process.

How do you and your parents know you are ready for this role…

  • Are you comfortable talking about your health needs in front of professionals?
  • Do you feel confident in asking questions?
  • If you disagree with someone – even if they are an important person, can you let them know your true feelings?
  • Do you understand all the terms that professionals use?
  • If you don’t, can you ask them to explain it in a way that makes sense to you?


  • You can have your parents with you in appointments if you want to
  • You can talk in confidence to health professionals. No information will be passed on to your parents without your permission – unless of course if you and or other people are at risk of serious harm. Sometimes information is needed to be shared between cleft team members. If you do not wish that to be done, you need to tell them
  • If there is something going on in your life that is important not to miss, let the cleft team know so that they can do their best to alter appointments and / or surgeries to ‘fit’ in with your lifestyle.
  • It can be a great idea to write down your questions so you can practice asking them and make sure they will uncover what you really want to know. And you won’t forget them in the rush of a clinic appointment.

The goal of this ‘transition’ time is to enable you to grow the confidence and skills to manage and take charge of your own healthcare. It’s your life, your body, your future.

Become a buddy

You have learnt a lot, what do you think about supporting a younger person, someone who was born with a cleft like you and would really like to have an older, wiser buddy who has been there and done that? Let us know if this is a good idea and whether you would like to become a Buddy yourself!

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