Generation Z includes any kids born between the years 1996-2010. They are the children of the technology era and things like the internet and social media have been a part of their lives since birth. Advancements in these types of platforms have exposed them to resources that former generations would have never imagined they'd see but with these privileges also comes a host of problems that former generations also could never have imagined, including rampant bullying.
Bullying isn't a new thing, for as long as humanity has existed, there's been someone there to make someone else's life miserable. Past generations had to deal with bullies and no doubt missed a day or two of school if they were the victims of a bully but for most kids, it probably didn't rank as a top priority. For Gen Z kids though, it turns out it ranks as one of their top concerns.
A survey done by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) talked to kids between the ages of 6-17 about bullying and a whopping 86% of the kids who responded to the survey said that not being bullied is a daily priority for them. As a parent, it's heartbreaking to think that your kid might be getting picked on and while you can't stop the bullying, the BSA gives parents some tips on how to guide their children through it.
The BSA says that kids today are too disconnected. Parents should encourage their kids to put down the devices and go outside to hang out with their friends. The BSA says that "having kids interact with one another in group activities, whether it be through sports or painting a mural, can promote supporting one another as a team."
Parents should teach their kids to be kind. You can't necessarily prevent your child from being bullied but you can help to make sure that they don't become a bully themselves. What's the best way to do that? Be a good role model and be kind to others yourself.
Ignorance is never bliss and educating your kids about bullying and equipping them with tools to combat it as well as resources that they can leverage will go a long way. Parents should teach their kids to never be afraid to ask for help if they or someone they know is being bullied.
There will always be times when kids don't feel comfortable talking to their parents about the issues that they face. Parents should advise their kids to find a friend that they can trust and that will support them when a situation gets too much to handle. Having that support system can help them to work through a problem with bullies in a healthy way.
Finally, children should be encouraged to explore differences. Bullying often happens because of differences that aren't understood. The more kids know about differences, the more they'll be able to embrace those differences rather than seeing them as odd.