What to Do if You Witness Teen Bullying
If your kid has been lucky enough to avoid teen issues with bullying, you’re probably counting your blessings. However, what if your kid isn’t the one being bullied?
Taking Action to Stop Teen Bullying: What to Do if You Witness Abuse
If you or your teen is aware that a child is being bullied by another student or adult, it’s important to take action. There are a wide variety of bullying situations, and it might be safer to intervene in some situations versus others.
If the Bullying is Violent
If a kid is being hit, pushed, kicked, or otherwise physically hurt or threatened, it might not be safe for your teen to intervene. This is a situation in which calling for backup will likely be necessary. This may mean grabbing a few of the bigger kids to help stop the abuse, getting a trusted adult, or even calling the police if necessary.
If the Bullying is Written or Verbal
Most forms of bullying involve words, and words can hurt just as much as getting hit. If your teen sees their peers cyber bullying another student on social media, they can report the posts. They can also reach out to the kid who is receiving the bullying and let them know that they’re aware of what’s happening to them. Taking screenshots of the offensive messages can provide evidence if the victim decides to take the case to the authorities.
If the Bullying is Subtle
It’s common for teen bullying to be so subtle that it’s barely noticeable from the outside. For example, in many teen cliques, there’s one person who is considered the lowest rank on the totem pole. This person may become the subject of mockery and the brunt of every joke. This subtle bullying is considered playful, but it may have lasting damage to the victim’s self-esteem.
If your teen witnesses subtle bullying within their friend group, they can refuse to participate. They can also speak to the ringleader in private and let them know that while the jokes may be funny to the rest of the group, they’re really not cool.