There’s an old saying that the teen years are the best years of your life.
For most teens they are the worst years of their lives. No longer little kids and not quite adults, they often feel powerless in their world. Tougher still, today’s bullying sucks the joy out of life for many teens.
It’s estimated that one in four teens will be bullied. Yet only one in six parents of bullied children know what’s happening to their child.
We’re not just talking about the big kid who would threaten to punch you out if you didn’t do things his way. Modern bullying involves both boys and girls and is administered in a relentless onslaught of text messages, social media sites, YouTube videos and more. It comes in the form of threats, gossip, coercion, physical harm and exclusion.
It is practically inescapable, and coming at an emotionally vulnerable time in a person’s life, can cause the object of the bullying to find unhealthy coping mechanisms including avoiding or dropping out of school, substance abuse, self-harm and suicide.
Youth need someone to turn to who will listen to them, not judge them, understand the situation and offer suggestions for healthy coping mechanisms in a safe environment.
That’s why YouthLine is such a vital service for teens. We provide a confidential place for them to talk or text without fear of betrayal or repercussion. Our team of highly trained youth volunteers provide a sounding board and a source of optional ideas. And, being the same age as the callers/texters, can relate in a way no adult can.
There’s help available by calling the YouthLine at 1 (877) 968-8491 or by texting teen2teen to 839863. The Youthline is a 24 hour service that’s answered by teens everyday between 4 and 10 PM.
The teen years don’t have to be the worst years of a person’s life.