Many, if not most, teens use social media on a daily basis. On the web, they can be anonymous, and they can communicate with and about one another at any hour of the day or night. It’s a situation that has led to a dizzying rise in cases of cyber-bullying, and today “as many as 25% of teenagers have experienced cyber-bullying at some point.”
The Olweus model of bullying prevention has gained popularity with a number of school systems. It identifies eight roles that individuals typically play in a bullying situation. Olweus focuses on helping the victim, rather than giving additional attention to the bully. It’s an effective approach, since bullying is an inherently attention-seeking behavior.
Students of today deal with massive amounts of stress, both academically and socially. An extensive Canadian study into student mental health revealed that students are anxious, losing sleep, and many ‘feel like crying’.” Principles of mindfulness can sometimes help reduce or control stress, leading to improved attentiveness and performance. Though this article discusses Canadian schools and educational approaches, there is much here that could prove useful in the United States, as well.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and boost self esteem, but it can also help reduce cardiovascular risk factors in adolescents. This was another Canadian study, completed during the 2011-12 school year. The results demonstrated lowered cholesterol and BMI indicators as a result of a ten week volunteer project.