Bullying is a big problem. It can make kids feel hurt, scared, sick, lonely, embarrassed and sad. Bullies might hit, kick, or push to hurt people, or use words to call names, threaten, tease, or scare them.
A bully might say mean things about someone, grab a kid's stuff, make fun of someone, or leave a kid out of the group on purpose.
Some bullies threaten people ortry to make them do things they don't want to do.
Bullying Is a Big Deal
Bullying is a big problem that affects lots of kids. Three-quarters of all kids say they have been bullied or teased. Being bullied can make kids feel really bad. The stress of dealing with bullies can make kids feel sick.
Bullying can make kids not want to play outside or go to school. It's hard to keep your mind onschoolwork when you're worried about how you're going to deal with the bully near your locker.
Bullying bothers everyone — and not just the kids who are getting picked on. Bullying can make school a place of fear and can lead to more violence and more stress for everyone.
Why Do Bullies Act That Way?
Some bullies are looking for attention. They might think bullying is a way to be popular or to getwhat they want. Most bullies are trying to make themselves feel more important. When they pick on someone else, it can make them feel big and powerful.
Some bullies come from families where everyone is angry and shouting all the time. They may think that being angry, calling names, and pushing people around is a normal way to act. Some bullies are copying what they've seen someone else do. Somehave been bullied themselves.
Sometimes bullies know that what they are doing or saying hurts other people. But other bullies may not really know how hurtful their actions can be. Most bullies don't understand or care about the feelings of others.
Bullies often pick on someone they think they can have power over. They might pick on kids who get upset easily or who have trouble sticking up forthemselves. Getting a big reaction out of someone can make bullies feel like they have the power they want. Sometimes bullies pick on someone who is smarter than they are or different from them in some way. Sometimes bullies just pick on a kid for no reason at all.
Gemma told her mom that this one kid was picking on her for having red hair and freckles. She wanted to be like the other kids but shecouldn’t change those things about herself. Finally Gemma made friends at her local swimming pool with a girl who wished she had red hair like Gemma's. The two girls became great friends and she learned to ignore the mean girl's taunts at school.
Bullying: How to Handle It
So now you know that bullying is a big problem that affects a lot of kids, but what do you do if someone is bullying you? Ouradvice falls into two categories: preventing a run-in with the bully, and what to do if you end up face-to-face with the bully.
Preventing a Run-In with a Bully
Don't give the bully a chance. As much as you can, avoid the bully. You can't go into hiding or skip class, of course. But if you can take a different route and avoid him or her, do so.
Stand tall and be brave. When you're scared ofanother person, you're probably not feeling your bravest. But sometimes just acting brave is enough to stop a bully. How does a brave person look and act? Stand tall and you'll send the message: "Don't mess with me." It's easier to feel brave when you feel good about yourself. See the next tip!
Feel good about you. Nobody does perfect, but what can you do to look and feel your best? Maybe you'dlike to be fit. If so, maybe you'll decide to get more exercise, watch less TV, and eat healthier snacks. Or maybe you feel you look best when you shower in the morning before school. If so, you could decide to get up a little earlier so you can be clean and refreshed for the school day.
Get a buddy (and be a buddy). Two is better than one if you're trying to avoid being bullied. Make a plan to...