What is bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making treats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, teasing, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Kids who Bully
Bullying is never ok! Individuals that bully often use their power to hurt people; power does not always mean bigger or stronger, but it can be viewed as popular, smart or dominant. Kids become bullies for a number of reasons, many have low self-esteem and want to prove something to their friends to help them fit in. Also kids assume they are superior to others and want to demonstrate their power. There is no good reason to bully anther person; but understanding why people do bully is important to stopping this epidemic.
Kids who are Bullied
Kids who are bullied can feel like they are different, powerless, unpopular, or alone. Kids who are bullied have a hard time standing up for themselves. They think the kid who bullies is more powerful than they are. Bullying can make a kid feel nervous, sad, or lonely. They might feel sick causing them to stay out of school or they may even turn into a bully themselves.
What to do If You’re Bullied
Bullying is not acceptable. If you are bullied here are some suggested steps to take:
- Look at the bullying and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the kid bullying you off guard.
- If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
Kids who see Bullying
When kids see bullying, they may not know what to do. They may feel depressed or worried. They may be absent from school because they don’t feel safe. They may join in or stay silent so they won’t get bullied themselves. A kid seeing someone getting bullied may even stand up to the bully but the best thing to do is to Stand up to Stop Bullying by telling an adult who will stop the bullying right away.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Example of cyberbullying includes mean text messages or emails, rumors, sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
Protect Yourself from Cyberbullying
These are some things you can do to protect yourself from cyberbullying.
- Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Being kind to others online will help to keep you safe. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone.
- Keep your password a secret from other kids. Even kids that seem like friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want. Let your parents have your passwords.
- Think about who sees what you post online. Complete strangers? Friends? Friends of friends? Privacy setting let you control who sees what.
When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.
Treat Everyone with Respect
I remember what my Father told me… “I am fearfully and wonderfully made and that I was special.” You are special too; and you deserve to be treated as such. Treat everyone with respect and love. Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt someone. If you feel like being mean to someone, find something else to do. Play a game, watch TV, or talk to a friends. Talk to an adult you trust. They can help you find ways to be nicer to others. Keep in mind that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different.
Information provided by: www.stopbullying.gov/kids