Supporting and encouraging kindness among teenagers is arguably one of the most important aspects of raising kids. It seems the media is blowing up with teenage bully stories this day and age. It’s an epidemic, especially in the spring as the school year is drawing to an end. Emotions run at an all-time high. The teenage span is full of rambunctious hormonal humans who have grown accustomed to one another throughout the school year. They have grown into a routine, and unfortunately, a part of this routine includes bullying.
It’s this time of year that the teens who have been picked on, both in and out of school, are worn down and have had about all they can handle from their peers over the course of the last nine-plus months. They’ve been beaten down both physically and emotionally. As if it isn’t hard enough trying to grow and find oneself through the mess and drama this world can sometimes present, they’ve been dealt a hand of personal torment on top of it all. This is a sad fact of life, and for some it’s devastating.
Teenage bullies themselves come in many forms. It can be said that this time of year bullies are known to step up to an even higher level and act out more viciously than usual. Big holidays have passed, the school year’s end is drawing near and many teen bullies are known to grow comfortable with the abuse they’ve thus far dished out. It’s not an uncommon thing for bullies to progress, to inflict more and more pain on their victims as time rolls on in a school year.
It’s hard to say why some people are more violent than others and meaner at heart. Each and every person has their own issues to face and their own personal battles they’re fighting. Although it can be argued that there is no excuse for being a bully, it can also be argued that most abusers have a history of mistreatment of their own. This is a cold hard fact and one that is layered into depths that quite frankly can’t be covered in merely one article.
So what can be done with this conundrum?
Unfortunately, there is no simple solution. Individuals need personalized treatment, on both sides of this tragic bully situation that’s sweeping the globe. Victims need love, support, and emotional help. Bullies need discipline, positive support and encouragement for a change, and sometimes even emotional therapy of their own. This situation is layered, and the depths of emotions and empathy go beyond the naked eye of an outsider.
But, there is a place we can start. There is an angle that we can push onto those who stand quietly on the sidelines. This angle is no longer standing by. It can be said that stepping up with an open welcoming hand of kindness and understanding can make a world of difference to a teen who rarely gets it.
The fight against bullies, can and should be approached at an angle of kindness. By teaching our teens at home the importance of empathy and kindness, along with confidence and showing love to those who need it, we’re teaching them to change lives for the better. Rather than feeding into bullies crave for attention, we as a society should be feeding into the need of kindness to those being put down regularly.
Let’s sit by those who are alone at the lunch table. Let’s pull them up off of the floor when they’ve been knocked down. Let’s teach our teens to put away their electronics once in a while for merely the sake of making eye contact, and have real meaningful conversations with a peer who’s in desperate need of positive human interaction. As parents, we should remind our own kids to these things regularly.
Just as bullying can change a life for the worse, kindness can change a life for the better. Sadly some teens never get smiled at, they never get gifts or hugs or encouragement. Sometimes all it takes is a kind familiar face. Someone their own age who actually cares about their existence and well-being. Someone who will offer them more than the feeling of pain and anguish. A shift in humanity can start with kindness!
Clearly, changing the world isn’t as easy as a smile… But, changing one life can be, and what more could we wish for our teens than to literally save a life?