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Ways to “Be There” as a Kid or Teen

1. Listen and Show Support

Think about what it means to feel all alone, to believe that no one cares, or to think that there is no way to change what is happening. That is a lonely place to be. Now imagine how all that can be different. Imagine during those times when you feel alone that someone is there for you. Consider how simple it is to tell someone you care. Your support is meaningful!

“It’s none of my business—I should just ignore it and walk away. Right?”

Wrong!

Put yourself in the student’s place. If you were being pushed around, laughed at, gossiped about, made fun of, or ignored on purpose, you’d probably want someone to help you out.

Show the student experiencing bullying that you’re listening by allowing her to talk about her experiences. Help her think through how she can tell her parents and what to do if that doesn’t help. Let her know they can talk with you anytime. You don’t have to focus on fixing the problem; focus on how you can be supportive.

2. Tell an Adult

You can always let your teachers and parents know about bullying so they can help out. Bullying is not just about physical fights; words have the power to hurt, both online and in person. Sometimes the first person that you tell might not be able to help you, but don’t give up! Keep telling until you connect with someone who can help. Adults care about what happens to you and your peers!

3. Ask Others to Join Together Against Bullying

When kids stick together and don’t accept bullying, they can change what has happened to so many for so long. Together, we can make a difference! As a group, you can ask your school to start a bullying prevention program or hold an event. Visit PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center website for ideas on how to take action in your school or community.

4. Help Them Get Away From the Situation

If you see someone being bullied, instead of turning your back, help the student to turn his or her back to the bullying by walking to class with him or her. You can also tell him he doesn’t deserve what’s happening and that he has the right to be safe.

5. Show You Care

It’s easier for someone to be bullied when no one sticks up for him or her. Be a friend! Invite the person being bullied to sit with you at lunch, play together during free time, or walk to class together. Kids who are bullied often feel like no one cares—show them they are not alone.

If you see cyberbullying, write something nice on the student’s wall or let the person bullying know it’s not cool to make fun of people online. You can anonymously report the cyberbullying and many service providers will take steps to address the issue.

 
 

When students are willing to speak up for what they think is wrong, they can make a difference. Kindness, support, and hope are things everyone can give—and your actions matter.