What is Bullying?

What is Bullying?

Bully. What does the word make you think of?

For some people it's that girl at school who always makes fun of them.

For others it's the biggest guy in the neighborhood who's always trying to beat up or take their things. Sometimes "bully" means a whole group of kids ganging up on someone else. No matter what situation or form it comes in, bullying can make you feel depressed, hurt, and alone. It can keep you from enjoying the activities and places that are part of your life. Bullying happens everywhere, whether it's your town or Paris, France. It happens all the time, and it's happened since forever. Because it's so common, many adults think bullying is just normal part of growing up. You've probably heard parents or teachers say things like: "Don't let it get to you" or "You just have to be tougher," but why should something that can make a person so miserable have to be part of growing up? The answer is, it doesn't! Each and every one of us has the right to feel safe in our lives and good about ourselves. So we put together this guide to give you all the basics of dealing with bullies. Let's start by looking at the different kinds of bullying.

Physical bullying means:

  • Hitting, kicking or pushing someone - or even just threatening to do it.

  • Stealing, hiding or ruining someone's things.

  • Making someone do things that they don't want to do.

Verbal Bullying means:

  • Name-calling

  • Teasing

  • Insulting

Relationship Bullying means:

  • Refusing to talk to someone.

  • Spreading lies or rumors about someone.

  • Making someone feel left out or rejected.

What do all these things have in common?

They are examples of ways one person can make another person feel hurt, afraid, or uncomfortable. When they are done to someone more than once, and typically over a long period of time, that is bullying. The reason why one kid would want to bully another kid is this: when you make someone feel bad, you gain power over them.

Power makes people feel like they are better than another person, and then that makes them feel really good about themselves. Power also makes you stand out from the crowd. It's a way to get attention from other kids, and even from adults.

Did you Know.. The word "bully" used to mean the total opposite of what it means now? Five-hundred years ago, it meant friend, family member, or sweetheart. The root of the word comes from the Dutch "Boel", meaning lover or brother. Big change.

htttp://pbskids.org/itsmylife Copyright 2004 Caslteworks, Inc.

Bullies: Are you a bully?

Are you a bully and don't know it?

Maybe you know you're a bully, but don't know how to change your ways? Never fear, help is here.

How do you know if you are or have ever been a bully?

Ask yourself these questions:

    1. Does it make you feel better to hurt other people or take things?

    2. Are you bigger and stronger than other people your age? Do you sometimes use your size and strength to get your way?

    3. Have you been bullied by someone in the past and feel like you have to make up for it by doing the same thing to others?

    4. Do you avoid thinking about how other people might feel if you say or do hurtful things to them?

If you have bullied other people, think about why. Think about how or what you were feeling at the time. Think about how you felt afterwards.

How can you stop being a bully?

    1. Apologize to people you've bullied, and follow it up by being friendly to them.They may not trust you right away, but eventually they'll see that you're for real.

    2. If you're having a hard time feeling good about yourself , explore ways to boost your self-esteem. Pick up a new hobby , do volunteer work, or get involved with a sport.

    3. If you feel like you're having trouble controlling your feelings, especially anger, talk to school counselor about it.

There are many reasons to kick the bully habit. Many bullies grow up into adults who bully their families, friends, and co-workers, causing all sorts of problems with relationships and careers.

It's hard to think about the future when you're feeling something here and now, but take a moment to see how your behavior may be laying down some pretty negative groundwork

Copyright:2004 Castleworks,Inc. All rights reserved. from http://pbskids.org/itsmyife

Bullies: Innocent Bystanders

In a bullying situation, there are usually bystanders, but they are not exactly "innocent". Bullying usually happens with other kids around, right? Having an "audience" is very important to a bully. They wants people to see what they're doing, and that they has power over the person they're bullying. It's usually because a bully wants a reputation for being tough or strong, or because they think it'll make them more popular.

So what about the people watching the bully? Why are they letting it happen? Here are some possible reasons:

  • The bully is someone other people look up to and want to hang out with.

  • They want to "side" with the bully because to do that makes them feel strong. Siding with the bully's victim, on the other hand would make them feel weak.

  • They are entertained by the bullying.

  • They don't think speaking up will help.

  • They're afraid that if they say something , the bully will hurt them.

Watching the bullying is a way to bully "vicariously." This means that they feel like they're getting their frustrations out by hurting someone even though they're not doing the hurting, just watching the hurting. Did you know that if one person watching a bullying situation says " Stop It" half the time the bullying will stop? This can be hard to do, but it's important to try. When you stand by and do nothing , that's saying that bullying is okay with you. It makes you no better than the bully himself.

Here are some things you can do if you see someone getting bullied:

  • Tell the bully to stop. Examples: "Cut it out" , "That's not funny", "How'd you like if someone did that to you?" Let the bully know that what he or she is doing stupid or mean.

  • If you feel like you can't speak up , walk away from the situation and tell the nearest adult. Get them to come help. This is not tattling!

  • If you see someone being bullied over and over again--whether that person is a friend , sibling, or classmate - you can make a big difference in helping to stop it.

  • If your school has a bullying reporting program, like a hotline or "bully box" use it.

  • Make sure the kid who's being bullied tells his parents, or a teacher. Offer to go with him if it will help. If they doesn't want to talk to anybody, offer talk to someone on her behalf. Involve as many people as possible, including other friends or classmates, parents, teachers, school counselors, and even the principal.

  • Do NOT use violence against bullies or try to get revenge on your own. It's possible that by speaking up or helping someone , you've made the bully want to come after you. Be prepared for this, and hold your. You already have adult support on your side.

Try to remember the Golden Rule:
Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Stand up for someone when they need it, and when you need it,
someone will stand up for you.

Copyright:2004 Castleworks,Inc. All rights reserved. from http://pbskids.org/itsmyife

Cyber Bullying

Tips for Parents:

Boys are as likely as girls to be targeted for threats or efforts to humiliate them on the internet.
Gender does not affect a child's online risk profile.

i-Safe America has created this list of internet safety tips to help your family recognize online danger and
take the appropriate steps to protect yourselves.

        • Don't open/read messages from cyber bullies: Your child can't be intimidated by messages from cyber bullies they never open. Teach your child to curb his or her curiosity to read and respond to a message if they suspect or know a cyber bully has sent.

        • Encourage your child to tell an adult: For some children, their reaction to being bullied is not only fright, but also confusion about how to react appropriately. Coach your child to tell a trusted adult if they are ever being bullied.

        • Report cyber bullying: Internet Service Providers can often block a cyber bully, and schools have special procedures and rules to handle bullying. Save the bully's message and screen name, then contact and report it.

        • No chatting while you are angry: Sending angry, hostile or taunting messages attracts cyber bullies. Make certain your child is not using e-mail messages or chat rooms to vent their own anger in a way that hurts others.

        • If you are threatened with harm, tell the police: Even if you don't know how to identify the individual who has made the threat, law enforcement often has access to the information and may be able to track down and arrest them before they do harm.

        • Be part of your child's online experience: It can be a fun journey to explore the wonders of the internet as a family. As computer - savvy as kids and teens are today , they may even teach you a thing to two!

*Get involved with i-SAFE AMERICA : These are only some of the measures you can take to ensure your child has a safe and enjoyable internet experience.Provided by i-Safe America www.i-safe.org