What is Bullying?
Bullying is an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person either physically or mentally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. In other words, bullying is when kids or even adults hurt or scare others on purpose. Bullying can hurt everyone and kids who are bullied, sometimes have a hard time standing up for themselves.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take many forms:
- Verbal: name-calling, teasing
- Social: spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
- Physical: hitting, punching, shoving
- Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others.
An act of bullying may fit into more than one of these groups.
Recognizing the Warning Signs
There are many warning signs that could indicate that someone is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or by being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems, as well:
- Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings.
- Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry.
- Has unexplained injuries.
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick.
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams.
- Has changes in eating habits.
- Hurt themselves.
- Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch.
- Runs away from home.
- Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends.
- Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers.
- Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school.
- Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home.
- Talks about suicide.
- Feels helpless.
- Often feels like they are not good enough.
- Blames themselves for their problems.
- Suddenly has fewer friends.
- Avoids certain places.
- Acts differently than usual.
- Becomes violent with others.
- Gets into physical or verbal fights with others.
- Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot.
- Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained.
- Is quick to blame others.
- Will not accept responsibility for their actions.
- Has friends who bully others.
- Needs to win or be best at everything.
Has Someone Called You a Bully?
- Think about what you are doing. If someone did the same thing to you, would you be hurt?
- Remember that making others feel bad is wrong.
- Know that everyone is different, but different does not mean better or worse.
- Try getting to know others who are not like you. You may find out, you are more alike than you think.
- Talk to an adult you trust. They may have good ideas about what you can do to stop the bullying.
What can you do?
Are you being bullied? Nobody likes to be picked on. You can help stop the bullying. Next time you see someone being bullied, try one (or more) of these ideas:
- If it is safe, speak up. Say something like, “Stop it!”.
- Walk away. Act like you do not care, even if you really do.
- Stick together. Staying within a group might help to keep bullies at bay, there is such thing as safety in numbers.
- Tell an adult. Kids who are being bullied are sometimes scared to tell an adult. That is where you come in, tell an adult who you trust like your teacher, your coach, your Sabumnim or your parents. You can tell them in person or leave them a note.
- Be a friend to the person who is being bullied. You can still help the kid who is being bullied:
- Talk with them.
- Sit with them at lunch.
- Play with them at recess.
- Set a good example. Do not bully others.
- Enroll in a Martial arts class. Enrolling a child in a martial arts program like Taekwondo, is one of the best actions that a parent can take to prevent bullying. Why? Because martial arts can help children on both sides of the bullying equation. By providing benefits such as confidence, discipline, respect, self-control, leadership, stress relief, and self-defense; martial arts can help both the children who are being bullied, and the children who are bullying others.
You are NOT Alone!
You can find more information about bullying in the following sites:
(Link contributed by Mrs. Jennifer McVey and her 2011-12 5th grade class from Beautiful California, thank you, Kamsa Hamnida!).