Bullying is a concept we are all familiar with and want to prevent our children from experiencing. However, many
children report being bullied in some form or another. Recent data suggest that nearly 30% of all students report
being involved in bullying as either a bully or victim. One in 6 children report being bullied at least once a week. Boys are typically more physically aggressive (physical bullying) whereas girls rely more on social exclusion, teasing, and cliques (verbal or emotional bullying). The best way to prevent our children from being the victim is to understand what bullying looks like and how to talk to your children.
The formal definition of bullying is a situation in which a person exhibits aggressive behavior that is intended
to cause distress on another victim. The aggressive behavior can take a variety of forms such as a direct physical and/or verbal attack or be more indirect as when a bully takes the belongings of another person or spreads false rumors.
Bullying can take the form of:
- Posting derogatory comments on public websites or social forums
- Sending abusive text messages or emails
- Creating a hostile environment using words or actions
- Constantly excluding someone
- Spreading false rumors
- Teasing, name-calling, or racist remarks
- Stealing or hiding another’s belongings
- Physical violence such as hitting or kicking
Children who are being bullied are said to be more cautious, sensitive, insecure, socially isolated, and have difficulty asserting themselves among their peers. The best way to find out if your child is being exposed to bullying is to talk with them. Children who feel like they can share their concerns with others will then be able to develop better coping skills.
For more information on bullying and how we can help children who are exposed to bullying, please refer to our information sheet below: