When it comes to bullying in high school, it seems we’re always hearing about how to help the victims of bullying–which is important, don’t get me wrong, but what about the actual bullies? Any client that’s taking it upon themselves to make others feel weak and inferior is obviously struggling with their own issues deep down.
Another commonly missed subject is different types of bullies. The typical bully is usually viewed as someone who physically hurts another or calls them names unsubtly. Cyberbullies have also begun to gain more attention as more issues arise. But what about the subtle bullies?
Intellectual hierarchy gives way to subtle bullies
You may be wondering what I mean when I say, “intellectual hierarchy.” By this term, I mean the difference between adolescents with higher and lower test scores, IQs, etc. Everyone has their qualities and for many teens, academics in high school isn’t where they flourish. This is a vulnerability for subtle bullies, though.
I’m talking about the bullies that not many notice. When it comes to bullying in high school, the louder, bigger, and more blunt the tactic the greater chance it’s going to get noticed. This makes it easy for these “intellectual” bullies.
These individuals think of themselves as “better” or “higher” in status simply because of their performance level in school. This can lead to dismissive, condescending behavior towards peers they view as “less worthy.” Sometimes this comes in the form of them ignoring another individual, sometimes it comes in the form of a pointed comment, such as, “Oh, of course you wouldn’t know that.”
This type of behavior often isn’t inflammatory enough to be considered “real” bullying in high school, but we need to be more aware and sensitive to it–because it can be just as harmful as getting shoved up against a locker or made fun of.
What to do if your child is the bully
It’s hard for a lot of parents to face the fact that their child is the bully in the situation. It falls under the “Parent’s Worst Nightmare” category. When you start to suspect your child is bully and then you get the phone call from the school that confirms your fear, it can be hard to deal with.
Some tips on what to do if your child is the bully:
- Talk About It. This is so important. Acknowledging what happened and having an open discussion about it is the first step to understanding by your child has turned to bullying in high school. Don’t get mad, just ask why, and make sure you listen with open ears. Many teens turn to bullying when they themselves are struggling with an issue.
- Discuss the Victim. Your teen needs to understand that they actually hurt someone. It may have been physical, it may have been mental–but they caused harm. Help them face it and make sure they understand why it wasn’t okay to cause this person so much pain. It can be easy for them to detach and feel like they didn’t hurt an actual person, so making them recognize the act and the individual is important.
- Consequences and Resolution. The next step is apologizing and preventing future incidents. Hopefully, after this one event, your child will see the wrongness in their ways. If not, it’s important to reach out to a professional for further guidance.
blueFire Wilderness treats bullying in high school
blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program that offers help for troubled teens, ages 11 to 17, grappling with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction, bullying in high school, and other emotional or behavioral problems.
We understand that this is a difficult and confusing time for the whole family, but we’re here to guide you through it. At blueFire, we strive to help each client find their inner confidence and succeed.
For more information about how we help with bullying in high school at blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today.