The Internet Gateway For Kids

Cyber Bullying

Children Who Bully

Many children engage in bullying every day. Although each child is different, those who bully other young people do share some common characteristics. Here are some things to look for:

Impulsive, hot-headed, dominant
Easily frustrated
Lack empathy
Have difficulty following rules
View violence in a positive way
Boys who bully tend to be physically stronger than other children.

There is no single cause of bullying among children. A host of different factors can place a child at risk for bullying his or herpeers. However, it has been found that children who bully are more likely than their non-bullying peers to come from homes with certaincharacteristics.

Family Risk Factors for Bullying

A lack of warmth and involvement on the part of parents
Overly permissive parenting (including a lack of limits for children's behaviour)
A lack of supervision by parents
Harsh, physical discipline
Bullying incidences at home

Bullying and Other Violent and/or Antisocial Behaviours

Research shows that bullying can be a sign of other serious antisocial and/or violent behaviour. Children who frequently bully theirpeers are more likely than others to:

Get into frequent fights
Be injured in a fight
Vandalize or steal property
Drink alcohol
Smoke
Be truant from school
Drop out of school
Carry a weapon

Children Who Are Bullied

There are many signs that a child is being bullied. Some signs tolook for:

The child comes home with torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings.
The child has unexplained bruises, cuts or scratches.
The child seems afraid of going to school, walking to and from school, riding the school bus ortaking part in organized activities with peers.
The child appears sad, moody, teary or depressed when he or she comes home.
The child frequently appears anxious and/or suffers from low self-esteem.

If you suspect your child is being bullied, remember to support your child, inform others and take action.

First, focus on your child. Be supportive and gather information about the bullying.Tell your child you are concerned about him or her and ask questions.
Contact your child's teacher and/or principal. He or she will probably be in the bestposition to understand the relationships between your child and other peers at school. Ask the teacher to talk to other adults who interactwith your child at school to see if they have observed students bullying your child.
If you know your child is being bullied, take quick action. There is nothing worse than doingnothing, and bullying can have serious effects.

If, after talking with your child and staff at his or her school, you don't believe your child is being bullied, be alert to otherpossible problems your child may be having. Share your concerns with a counsellor at your child's school.

What Do We Know About Bullying?

Bullying is aggressive behaviour that is intentional (not accidental or done in fun) and that involves an imbalance of power orstrength. Often, bullying is repeated over time. Bullying can take many forms, such as: hitting or punching, teasing or name-calling,intimidation through gestures, social exclusion, and sending insulting messages or pictures by mobile phone or using the Internet (also knownas cyberbullying).

How Common Is it?

Bullying is more common than many adults realize. Most studies show that between 15-25% of American students are bullied with somefrequency (i.e., "sometimes" or more often). Click here to view a Tip Sheet entitled What We Know About Bullying for more information aboutthe prevalence of bullying, bullying among girls and boys, and consequences of bullying.

Why Is Bullying Sometimes Hard for Adults to Detect?

Unfortunately, although bullying can be very harmful to children, adults are often unaware of bullying problems. Why? Often, bullyingtakes place in areas of schools, homes, or communities that are not well supervised by adults. Even if bullying happens near adults, sometimes wemiss it because bullying can be subtle or hard to detect (e.g., social exclusion, note-passing, threatening looks).

Adults also are often unaware of bullying because many children and youth don't report it. They may fear retaliation by children doing thebullying. They also may fear that adults won't take their concerns seriously or will act inappropriate to deal with the bullying.

Why Should Adults Care About Bullying?

There are a number of reasons why adults should be concerned about bullying among children and youth.

Many children are involved in bullying, and most are extremely concerned about it.

Studies show that between 15-25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency("sometimes or more often") while 15-20% admit that they bully others with some frequency.
Not only is bullying prevalent, but children and youth report being extremely concerned aboutit. In a 2003 Harris poll of 8-17 year-old girls, commissioned by the Girl Scouts of the USA, bullying topped girls' list of concernsregarding their safety. When asked what they worried about the most, the most common response was being socially ostracized-being teased or madefun of. [Feeling Safe: What Girls Say by Judy Schoenberg, Ed.M., Toija Riggins, Ph.D., and Kimberlee Salmond, M.P.P. (New York, N.Y.: GirlScouts of the USA, 2003). 114 pp. (Executive Summary, 23 pp.)]

Bullying can seriously affect the mentalhealth, academic work, and physical health of children who are targeted.

Children who are bullied are more likely than other children to have lower self-esteem;higher rates of depression, loneliness, anxi ety, and suicidal thoughts. Recent studies indicate that there may be reason to be concerned aboutthe school attendance and academic work of children involved in bullying.
Research on the health-related effects of bullying indicates that victims of frequentbullying are more likely to experience a variety of health problems, including headaches, sleeping problems, and stomach ailments.
Some emotional scars can be long-lasting. Research suggests that adults who were bullied aschildren are more likely than their non-bullied peers to be depressed and have low self-esteem as adults.

Children who bully are more likely than other children to be engaged in other antisocial, violent, or troublingbehavior.

Findings from research in the U.S. and abroad indicate that children who bully are more likely to:
Get into frequent fights
Be injured in a fight
Steal, vandalize property
Drink alcohol
Smoke
Be truant, drop out of school
Report poorer academic achievement
Perceive a negative climate at school
Carry a weapon

Bullying can negatively affect children who observe bullying going on around them?even if they aren't targetedthemselves.

Children who are bystanders to bullying can feel fearful ("Maybe I'll be targetednext!"), guilty ("I should do something to stop this, but I'm afraid to."), and distracted from school work.
Bullying can contribute to a negative social climate at school.

Bullying is a form of victimization or abuse, and it is wrong. Children should be able to attend school or take partin community activities without fear of being harassed, assaulted, belittled, or excluded.

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

What Is The Definition of Bullying?

A lot of young people have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts orscares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over andover.
Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically
Spreading bad rumours about people
Keeping certain people out of a "group"
Teasing people in a mean way
Getting certain people to "gang up" on others

Bullying also can happen online or electronically.
Cyberbullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology.This can include:
Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites
Using someone else's user name to spread rumours or lies about someone

Take a look at Webisode 5 to see an example of cyberbullying. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if theydon't realize it at the time.

Are You Being Bullied?

So you're being bullied, huh? That can feel pretty awful. But, no matter how bad it makes you feel sometimes, you should know you'renot alone. That's right ... there are plenty of kids all over the world who go through the same things you do every day. And, even though youmay feel helpless sometimes, there are a lot of things you and others can do to help stop the bullying. Give these tips a try.

Always tell an adult.
It's hard to talk about serious things with adults sometimes, but they can help put a stop to bullying. Tell an adult that you trust and cantalk to - your parents, your teacher, your school counselor, your coach, your neighbor. If you've told a grown-up before and they haven't doneanything about it, tell someone else. And if you're afraid to tell an adult that you have been bullied, get another person - like a friend ora sister or brother - to go with you. Having someone else there to support you can make it a lot less scary. Tell the adults exactly whathas happened - who did the bullying, where and when it happened, how long it's been happening to you, and how it's making you feel. If youtalk with an adult at your school, ask them what they will do to help stop the bullying. It is their job to help keep you safe. Most adultsreally care about bullying and will do everything they can to help you.

Stay in a group.
Kids who bully like to pick on kids who are by themselves a lot? it's easier and they're more likely to get away with their bad behavior. Ifyou spend more time with other kids, you may not be an easy "target" and you'll have others around to help you if you get into a difficultsituation!

If it feels safe, try to stand up to the person who is bullying you.
If the person who is bullying you thinks you won't do anything about it, they are more likely to keep picking on you. This doesn't mean youshould fight back or bully them back. Instead, tell the person bullying you that you don't like it and that they should stop! Keep it simple.You might just say, "Cut it out, Miranda!", and then walk away. If possible, try to talk to them in a calm voice. Kids who bully often liketo see that they can make you upset. If you're afraid to talk to the person who is bullying you by yourself, then you might want to asksomeone else to be there with you. Kids who bully are more likely to listen, and less likely to bully you, when you're with someone and notalone. If you're not comfortable standing up to someone who has bullied you, that's definitely OK! Just walk away. But be sure to tell anadult.

If you are being bullied online, don't reply.
This may actually make the bullying worse. Instead, be sure to tell a family member or another adult you trust. If possible, block any morecommunications from this person. (For example, it might be a good idea only to accept messages from people you know.) Save evidence of thebullying. If you get a nasty e-mail, print it out or save it so that you can show it to an adult.

Join clubs or take part in activities where you'll meet other kids.
Sometimes, it can help to join clubs or take part in activities that interest you. Think about joining a sports team, taking an art class, orjoining a scouting group, for example. You can meet other kids who share your interests and you might make some good friends!

What NOT to do if you're being bullied

DON'T!!!

Think it's your fault.
Nobody deserves to be bullied!

Fight back or bully a person back.
This probably won't make things any better and it might get you into big trouble. Besides, you should try to act better than the person whobullies you.

Keep it to yourself and just hope the bullying will "go away."
It's normal to want to try to ignore bullying and hope that it will stop?or hope that the person will start to pick on someone else. But,often, bullying won't stop until adults and other kids get involved. So, be sure to report the bullying.

Skip school or avoid clubs or sports because you're afraid of being bullied.
Missing out on school or activities that you enjoy isn't the answer. You have a right to be there!

Think that you're a "tattle tale" if you tell an adult that you've been bullied.
Telling is NOT tattling! It's the right thing to do.

Do You Witness Bullying? Are You A Bystander?

So, you aren't someone who bullies others, and you haven't been bullied yourself. But if you see it happening to others, you can helpput a stop to it. In order to stop bullying, everyone needs to lend a hand and get involved! And even though it might be easier to stand byand watch (or try to ignore the bullying), just remember, we all need a little help from time to time! Think about how you might feel if thebullying was happening to YOU. There are all kinds of great things you can do to help. So the next time you see someone being bullied, try one(or more) of these ideas and make a real difference! Report the bullying to an adult.
Many kids who are bullied are scared to tell an adult about it (especially a teacher or principal), because they are afraid the personbullying them will find out and the bullying will just get worse. That's where you come in. Even if it's a little scary for you to tellan adult about bullying that you see, it's the right thing to do. It's not tattling ? you're helping someone out. Who should you tell? Youcould tell your teacher, school counsellor, school nurse, parents, coach, or any adult you feel comfortable talking with. It might be alittle less scary if you ask a friend to go along with you. Be sure to tell the adult exactly what happened ? who was bullied, who did thebullying, and where and when it happened. If you're not sure if another kid is being bullied but you think they probably are ? it's good toreport that, too. Most adults really care about bullying and will be VERY glad that you told them about it. If you told an adult and youdon't think they did anything about the bullying (or if it isn't getting any better), find another adult to tell.

Support someone who is being bullied.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for a person who is being bullied is just to be there for him or her and be a friend. Whether this meansagreeing to walk home with him or her after school, sitting with him or her on the bus or at lunch, trying to include him or her in your schoolor social activities, or just spending some time with him or her and trying to understand what he or she is going through, it will make ahuge difference! Although these may seem like small things to you, they will show a kid who is being bullied that you care about him or her andthe problems he or she is facing. And that can be a BIG help!

Stand up to the person doing the bullying.
If you feel safe doing this, tell a person who is bullying that what he or she is doing is wrong and that he or she should stop. Keep it simple.You could just say, "Ben, cut it out. Nobody thinks that's funny." If you can, get some friends to join you. When kids who bully see thatother kids don't think it's cool, they are more likely to stop. Just be sure you don't bully them back! It's not easy to stand up to kidswho may be bigger and stronger than you or really popular, so if you're not comfortable doing this, that's OK. (But be sure to tell an adult!)

Do You Bully?

If you bully others, we're glad you're here. If you're not sure if what you're doing is really bullying, then here's a hint: Ifyou are hurting or threatening others in some way and using your size, strength or popularity to do it ... you're probably bullying someone!.Hey - let's face it, hurting and making others feel bad is NEVER cool. Just admitting that you are doing things to harm others takes some guts.But that's not enough. Trying to find out what you should do to change the way you're acting ... now that's a step in the right direction! Socheck out these tips ... they'll help you to start treating others with the respect they deserve.

Think about what you're doing ... and how itaffects others.
If you think calling others names is really harmless, or if you think pushing, hitting or stealing from other kids is funny, you've forgottenwhat it feels like to be hurt yourself! Teasing, hitting, keeping others out of a group - all of these things harm someone. All of us have beenhurt at one time or another and we all know how it feels - awful! So the next time you are about to bully someone:
Put yourself in their shoes
Think about how it must make them feel
And just don't do it

Talk to an adult.

Making other people feel badly should never make you feel good. If it does, or if you're not really sure why you bully other kids, youneed to talk to an adult about it. Even though you might think an adult won't understand, or that you'll get yourself into trouble, they canhelp! Whether it is your parent, a teacher or another trusted grown-up, you should tell an adult how you've been acting so that they help youdeal with it. School counsellors are also great people to talk to about how you feel and how to change the way you treat others.

Tips For Kids

When asked the question: "What threatens your safety and emotional health?" most kids say, teasing and bullying (Kaiser FamilyFoundation & Children Now, 2001). Yet many adults, even your parents and teachers, may not realize how often you see or experience bullying atschool and elsewhere. Often adults don't see bullying when it happens. And those adults who see it, and do nothing, may not understand thatkids can be hurt by bullying.

Kids who are bullied day after day can feel helpless and alone. They may become too scared to report the bullying, fearing that adults won'tbelieve them. Kids also worry that if the bullies find out they "tattled," the bullying may get worse. To protect kids who are bullied,parents and all adults must understand what bullying is, how harmful it can be, and the best ways to stop bullying behaviours.

YOU can help Stop Bullying Now! by talking to adults about bullying!

Think about times you have seen bullying happen and write down as much as you can remember using the questions below as a guide.
Where does it take place?
Who does the bullying?
When does it happen?

Find out how bullying is handled at your school. If you haven't been bullied but are close to someone who has and is willing to discuss it,talk to him or her about what could have been done differently. Here are some questions you could ask: Did you tell a parent or teacher?
Did an adult help stop the bullying?
Did any students help you?
What would make you feel safer?

Be a leader by telling adults that you want to lend a hand to stop bullying. Schools with anti-bullying policies often include students inthe development of the Bullying Prevention Program.

If there isn't a policy on bullying in your school, get involved. Share your concerns about bullying with the school principal, teachers, andcounsellors and express your interest in being involved with preventing bullying in your school.

Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Webisodes

Watch these animated short stories to learn how KB, Josh, Milton and their friends deal with kids who bully at their school. Afterwatching the Webisodes, use the discussion questions to talk through how you can Stop Bullying Now!

 

Webisode 1: KB's First Day

Webisode 1: KB's First Day
Being the new girl at school isn't easy for KB.

PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 2: Milton's Dreams

Webisode 2: Milton's Dreams
Children who bully make it hard for Milton to enjoy one of his favorite things.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 3: Josh North

Webisode 3: Josh North
Brick surprises Josh by complimenting him on a great race.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 4: Melanie's Friends

Webisode 4: Melanie's Friends
Melanie discovers that it's hard to be friends with someone who bullies.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 5: KB's Day

Webisode 5: KB's Day
KB keeps important information from her mom about what's happening at school.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 6: Josh & Raven

Webisode 6: Josh & Raven
Seeing Brick bully Milton causes Josh to remember his own bad experiences.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 7: Soccer Tryouts

Webisode 7: Soccer Tryouts
Cassandra's behavior on the field makes tryouts tough for KB.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 8: KB Withdraws

Webisode 8: KB Withdraws
Afraid of being bullied, KB wants to quit soccer.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 9: Changes of Heart

Webisode 9: Changes of Heart
Milton quits the tuba, while Josh learns that kids who bully can change.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 10: KB & Melanie

Webisode 10: KB & Melanie
Mr. Bittner assigns new lab partners to help Melanie and KB.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 11: Power in Numbers

Webisode 11: Power in Numbers
New friends help Milton stand up to Brick.
PLAY VIDEO

Webisode 12: Real Friends

Webisode 12: Real Friends
Melanie and KB learn the value of real friends.
PLAY VIDEO

Games

Play fun games featuring all your favorite Stop Bullying Now! characters.

What Happens Next?
What Happens Next?
PLAYGAME
Matching
Matching
PLAY GAME
Maze
Maze
PLAY GAME
Pop Quiz
Pop Quiz
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Race!
Race!
PLAY GAME
Tic-Tac-Toe
Tic-Tac-Toe
PLAYGAME

Word Find
Word Find
PLAY GAME
Spot The Differences
Spot The Differences
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Connect The Dots
Connect The Dots
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Crossword
Crossword
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Jigsaw Puzzle
Jigsaw Puzzle
PLAYGAME

Bullywood Squares
Bully-wood Squares
PLAY GAME
Art Corner
Art Corner
PLAY GAME
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