Unique Image
Title Image


Get Flash Player

Dealing with Loss Arson Peer Pressure Baby-sitting Safety Safe Driving Burn Care Ask Jimmy Party Safety In Your Face and Interactive

Arson | Alcohol & Drugs | Bullying | Marijuana | Contact Organizations

What is bullying?

Bullying is when one or more people say or do something hurtful to another person.


Are there different kinds of bullying?

Yes, there are three kinds of bullying:

  • Physical Bullying: When a person uses their body to intentionally cause harm, i.e. Pushing, tripping, and punching.
  • Verbal Bullying: When a person uses words to hurt someone's feeling, i.e. Using bad language, rude name calling, making fun of someone.
  • Indirect Bullying: Is difficult to see or hear but it could be when a person doesn't talk to someone, leaves a person out of activities, spreads rumors about someone, makes a person feel scared.

Why do children bully?

There is no one particular thing that turns a child into a bully. However, studies show that the problem is generally triggered by something at home in the child's environment. This could include having parents who are overly punitive or verbally or physically abusive. A bully also could have been victimized herself, perhaps by a sibling or another child. It becomes very easy for a child to turn around and do to someone else what's been done to them because they know how it feels.


What characteristics do bullies have in common?
  • Like to control other people
  • Like to use other people to get what they want
  • Like attention
  • Are concerned with their own wants and needs and don't consider the other person's rights or feelings
  • Prey on kids that have a hard time standing up for themselves
  • Criticize and lie to get what they want
  • Refuse to accept responsibility for their actions
  • Will use comments like " I was just kidding" or "I'm sorry, I didn't really mean it" to justify their abusive behavior.

If parents and teachers accept this as an apology, the bullies will think they can easily get away with bullying and it will continue. The message of "SHAPE UP" has to be conveyed!

How do you stop someone that is bullying you?

One way is to stick up for yourself is by using BOLD words:

  • Ask Questions - "Why are you bugging me about my haircut"

  • Make "I" Statements - "I don't like the way you are bugging me"

  • Repeat Back - "So you don't think my shirt looks that great?"

  • Ask For Advice - " I was wondering where you got your hair cut?"

  • Use Humour - Make a joke or laugh it off. Try not to let the bully know that you are hurt or bothered.

Other ways to stop somone bullying you are:
  • Stay Away from the kids and places where the bullying happens.

  • Ignore the kids that are bothering you and just walk away.

  • Play with friends who treat you with Respect.

  • It is Important to Report bullying right away to a teacher, or any other adult at the school so they can help you deal with the problem.

  • Tell your friends as soon as something happens so they can help you find an adult to report to and give you support. Your friends and other bystanders can also help stick up for you and tell the bully that they don't like what they were doing and that they will make sure that it stops!
It's important to know that it is not your fault that someone is bullying you and that there are ways to make the bullying stop!

How can the school help if I have been bullied?

Different schools have different ways in dealing with bullying behavior.

Sometimes the principal or the counselor will meet with the bully and the person being bullied on a regular basis to make sure that everyone is treating each other with respect and not breaking the schools rules.

If the bullying continues the parents will be called and the bully may be punished by missing school activities such as recess or outings and could be expelled from school.


What if I'm not happy with the way the school is handling bullying?

If your school is not taking bullying seriously there are things that you, your friends and your parents can do to help make the school aware of the problem. With the permission from the principle you could:

  • Carry out a survey which would show where bullying is happening and how many people are involved.

  • Set up a "bully box" for people that are too scared to talk about bullying. Everything that is written and put in the box has to be true for it to work

  • Be a "buddy" to a younger student by getting to know them so they may feel comfortable talking to you if bullying happens.

  • Have "Prevent Bullying" days to educate everyone on what bullying is, how to treat people with respect and how to stop it.

  • Put on special "Role Playing" skits so people know what it feels like to be bullied and what to do to stop it.

  • Organize "Peer Support" groups where older students volunteer to talk to younger kids about bullying and friendship.

All members of a school community, young and old, have a responsibility to help people who are being bullied and to speak out against bullying behaviour.


Is your child being bullied?

Unfortunately, parents are sometimes the last to know that there child is being bullied. Bullies work through fear and manipulation. They often intimidate their victims into silence by threatening to harm them or to call them "wimps" if they tell an adult what's going on. Therefore, it is important for parents to know the signs of bullying. For example, if your daughter comes home extremely hungry from school perhaps someone is stealing their lunch. If a child seems unusually quiet or has trouble sleeping at night perhaps someone has threatened them at school.

It's a good idea to ask your child questions routinely about what's happening at school. Ask pointed questions like "Who's the bully in your class", or "Who was bullied at recess today?" The reason for asking questions like this is because by the time your child arrives home she may not be focused on the fact that someone bullied her that day. But this doesn't mean it wasn't upsetting her.

Contact the child's school to let them know that your child is being bullied and meet to discuss a plan of action! Bullying is unacceptable, it is not unstoppable.


How can parents help prevent bullying behaviour?

Teach self-respect
A confident child is less likely to become the victim of a bully. Positive comments such as, "I like the way you cleaned up the dishes without being asked", or "We are so proud of you for doing so well on your math test" will boost their self- esteem. Avoid labeling or name-calling such as calling a child lazy or telling them they are bad because that will make a child feel bad about themselves.

Let your child know that it's OK to express anger or sadness
Don't stop your child when she's venting. Show her that you value her opinion even if it's a five year old complaining that they have to go to bed so early or that an nine year old "hates" you today. Letting your child stand up to you now and then may empower them to stand up to a bully.

Teach your child to express herself clearly and boldly yet diplomatically.
Help your child learn to use "I' statements. This form of self-expression is indisputable and nonjudgmental. For example if your daughter tells a friend "I don't want to play with that toy anymore," who can argue with her? Your child is not making comments to put the other child on the defensive. When your child knows how to express herself without stepping on other people's toes, she tends to be popular with her peers-and having friends is a good way to keep bullies away.

Stress Assertive Body Language
Teach your child to hold herself confidently to compliment her assertive words by relaxing the body, but standing tall, keeping her hands steady and maintain frequent eye contact. Bullies tend to pick on children that don't seem sure of themselves.

Nurture friendships
Children who are loners tend to be picked on more by bullies. Start early in helping your child to develop friendships and build social skills. It is more difficult for a shy child to make friends. Your child may need help in learning how to initiate friendships or join in group activities. If she has a problem fitting in suggest that she find another child who is alone a lot rather than breaking into a larger group. It's also harder to join in on an organized game then to, for example, participate in unstructured activities like playing on the play structure.


Other ways to discourage a child from becoming a bully?

Bullying is not a natural behavior, it is TAUGHT!

Take a look at your parenting practices
Are you a bully at home? Do you frequently criticize your child or demand too much of them? Do you use spanking as a punishment? If so, you're sending the message to your child that anger, violence and intimidation are ways to get what you want. Children will model their parents.

Watch your tone of voice and the message
Examine the tone of voice you use with your children. Avoid undue criticism. Children learn by example and may use these belittling tactics when dealing with peers.

Teach negotiation early on
The preschool years are the time to begin to teach children to mediate their own disputes. If your child is grabbing a toy from another child, intervene and offer an alternate solution. Parents and caregivers have to watch and intervene when trouble arises so children will learn how to negotiate.

Set limits
A child feels more secure when they know their parents have set limits for them. A parent may breed bullying by being overly permissive and "giving in" when a child in demanding.


What do you do if your child is the bully?

Make it clear that bullying won't be tolerated
Emphasize that you won't allow that kind of behavior and outline the consequences. If the problem occurs at school, tell your child that you respect the school's rules and consequences.

Educate your child in what it feels like to be bullied
Bullies have trouble empathizing with their victims, so it's important to discuss how their child would feel if it happened to them.

Help your child feel successful
It's important to emphasize your child's good points so she can start to experience how positive feedback rather then negative attention feels. Find ways for your child to help others, perhaps by volunteering at school. Doing well increases a child's sense of self-worth.


How serious of a problem is bullying?

It is a very serious problem that sometimes leads to DEATH!

There have been so many suicides that have resulted from bullying in Canada, U.S., New Zealand and England that it is referred to as BULLICIDE!

For example, in 1997 Reena Virk was murdered by school mates in Victoria, BC.

In 1999, two boys who were bullied by classmates walked into their high school in Littleton, Colorado with guns and bombs and killed 12 students, a teacher, injured 18 others and then killed themselves.

Another boy who was bullied in school in Taber, Alta, shot and killed a student and wounded another.

Two B.C. teens, Hamed Nastih of Surrey and Dawn Marie Wesley of Mission killed themselves in 2000 and left notes saying that they could no longer endure the bullying.

A few months ago Emmet Fralick of Halifax shot himself because of bullying.

The following are programs available to students, teachers and parents on Bullying:

"BullySMART Publications" Ettie Catto, Author/Publisher, P.O. Box 746, Sooke, B.C., Canada VOS 1N0 www.bullysmart.ca

"Restitution -Restructuring School Discipline" Diane Chelsom Gossen, Author New View Publications, P.O. Box 3021, Chapel Hill, N.C. 27515-3021, 1-800-441-3604

For more information, refer to the following websites and books:


"Don't Laugh At Me" - (Tricycle Press) by Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin
  • This book teaches young children about bullying.
"Words Can Hurt Forever" - (The Free Press) by James Garbaion and Ellen deLara
  • Is a guide for parents and teachers so they can protect kids from all forms of bullying.
"The Bully, The Bullied and the Bystander (HarperCollins Publisher, Ltd.) by Barbara Coloroso
  • Examines all the parties that give rise to bullying so that parents might better recognize their children as victims, bystanders and bullies.




Copyright © 2007 Staying Alive Inc. All rights reserved. | tel:(807) 629-6824 | Site Map | info@stayingalive.ca