What Kids Should Know
Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens repeatedly; it forms a pattern of behavior on the part of the bully.
- Punching, shoving, and other ways of physically hurting people
- Spreading bad rumors about people
- Keeping certain people out of a “group”
- Teasing people in a mean way
- Sending insulting e-mails to people or about people
When you are bullied:
- Try to avoid, ignore, or walk away from a bully.
- Stay calm and do not fight back.
- Forcefully say to the bully, “Leave me alone.”
- Use humor, if possible, to react to a bully.
- DON’T go places alone;always stay with a group.
- Don’t blame yourself. YOU DO NOT DESERVE THIS!
When you see someone bullied:
- Report bullying to a trusted adult.
- Calmly tell the bully to stop.
- Support the person being bullied.
When you are the bully:
- Think about how you why you bully.
- Identify your feelings when you bully.
- Find other ways to make yourself feel good.
- Realize bullying leads to more serious problems.
- Ask an adult you trust or a friend for help.
Stop Bullying Now! U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Slavens, Elaine: Bullying: Deal with it before push comes to shove
What Parents Need to Know to Help
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional, repeated over time, and involves an imbalance of power or strength. A child who is being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Bullying can take many forms such as:
- Physical bullying, such as hitting or punching
- Verbal bullying, such as teasing or name-calling
- Nonverbal or emotional bullying, such as intimidating someone through gestures or social exclusion
- Cyber bullying, by sending insulting messages by e-mail, text message, IM or other electronic methods.
When Children are Bullied:
- Listen to them. Make it clear that it is not their fault.
- Teach self-respect and promote a sense of self-worth.
- Model assertive behavior and good social skills.
- Encourage your child to join youth groups outside of school.
- Work with the child’s school to address the problem.
- Help them identify ways to respond to bullies.
- DON’T teach your child to fight back.
When Children are Bystanders or Witnesses:
- Encourage your child to stand up for the child being bullied.
- Stress the importance of reporting bullying to a trusted adult.
When Children are Bullies:
- Model caring and empathetic relationships at home.
- Help your children develop their skills and interests.
- Establish consistent rules and limits.
- Reward positive attitudes, behaviors, and actions.
- Seek counseling for them if their behavior does not improve.
- Avoid the use of physical punishment, harsh criticism, and violent emotional outbursts.
American Medical Association Alliance, Inc.