Bullying affects the lives of thousands of teens and has multiple terrible outcomes. Kids are scared to go to school, can’t express themselves, get worse grades and grow up unable to connect to others. These are just a few examples.
So what can we do to combat teen bullying? Mentorship is a potent tool in positive youth development and therefore one of the best ways to manage bullying in high schools and middle school.
Why Is Mentorship Important?
Mentorship gives teenagers, who so often feel alone, someone they can rely on. Having a positive and supportive relationship with a trusted adult means that they feel safe to tackle challenges and develop themselves.
Research shows that a key aspect of teen mentoring is that it gives teenagers of all ages and backgrounds increased faith in their abilities. The emotional and relational support offered by a non-parental mentor genuinely can change someone’s life.
How Mentorship Can Combat Bullying
We know that the main reasons kids bully are down to their insecurity, jealousy or trauma at home. Dealing with these root causes could significantly reduce bullying, and teen mentorship is one of the best ways to tackle the root causes.
With a mentor giving support and perspective, insecure teens can feel more at ease in themselves and are less likely to give in to peer pressure. Additionally, if they’re bullying for attention, why not preempt that with more positive attention? An active listener can make all the difference to a kid who feels lonely.
Of course, mentoring isn’t just important for the bullies; it’s also important for the victims of bullying. They need someone to help them understand that it’s not their fault they’ve been singled out for bullying behavior, and they shouldn’t be ashamed. Many of us who have been victims of bullying in middle school or high school know what a difference it would have made to have a mentor to speak about it with.
What You Can Do in the Fight Against Bullying
Whether or not there is a bullying issue at your work, putting a mentorship program into place is an important first step in the fight against teen bullying. A school where pupils feel championed and listened to is not going to be a place where bullying can thrive.
Ensure mentors know how to listen, that they are trained in how to give advice without judging and that they can deal with challenging students. It’s important that all staff are involved in identifying potential candidates for a mentoring program. This could be kids that are acting out or kids who are suffering.
Encourage bullies to think about how their victims must feel and see if you can support them to a better understanding of the consequences of their actions. When mentoring teens who are being bullied, teach them how not to let others have power over their self-worth.
We can’t promise it will always be easy, but it will 100% be worth it.
HOW YOU CAN BECOME A TEEN MENTOR THROUGH SPEAK LOUD, INC.:
We are excited to announce that will be expanding our mentorship program to help teens both virtually through online and in-person initiatives. If you are interested in joining our mentorship program, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are eager to help put an end to teen bullying. Let’s SPEAK LOUD for teens! For more information please visit the contact page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org