Bullying is not cool. If there was a way to end it, teens would be all for it, but they can’t do it on their own. Adults need to give good advice, provide options, show solutions that work. Here’s how some adults’ reactions look to teens.
Telling us to just be nice and stop bullying may work for some teens, but for the ones who really need the message, it’s just not that simple. Kids bully for lots of reasons; some do it to feel powerful, others because they are being bullied. This isn’t just a one-solution problem.
When I talk with you about bullying, it doesn’t help when you tell me that I will grow out of this…that it happens to everyone…that it wouldn’t happen if I just stood up for myself. I’m telling you because I can’t handle this by myself. Don’t shut me out. I need your help.
Just ignore them? Adults tell us that all the time. Do your problems go away by ignoring them? Your annoying boss? Bills? I wish I could ignore my homework and it would just go away. Enough said.
Sit by and do nothing? Not gonna work. That’s just encouraging people to look the other way. We see silence as supporting the situation. It’s like saying bullying is just the way it is and it’s okay.
Talk it out. Really?? That solution might work in your world. Talking it out means both sides are comfortable saying what’s on their minds. You try being rational when you’re being pounded on. It’s intimidating to be made fun of.
Don’t ask me to tell the bully how I feel. Are you kidding!? If a guy is trying to make me feel bad, wouldn’t that just let him know he’s won?
Fighting? That’s your answer? The last kid at school who tried that ended up suspended for three days.