Article

Bullying

Unfortunately, lots of kids are the victims of bullies. Bullying is a tough issue that doesn’t have easy answers, and it takes everyone’s help to make it stop.

Bullying can be scary and embarrassing. It can make you feel as if it’s your fault. It’s not!

If you or someone you know is a bully or the victim of bullying, you may have lots of questions like: what is bullying? why do people bully? how can I stop a bully?

It is important to talk to a trusted adult if you or someone you know is being bullied. Or you can call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 and talk to a professional counsellor.

What is bullying?

Bullying can happen in a lot of different places and in a lot of different ways. For example:

  • threatening e-mails
  • prank phone calls to your house
  • name calling
  • physical attacks
  • being left out, ignored or treated like you are invisible
  • having to give up money or personal belongings or to do something you don’t want to do to avoid being hurt

Kids who are bullied may feel:

  • sad
  • angry
  • frustrated
  • afraid
  • rejected
  • embarrassed
  • ashamed

It’s normal to have some or all of these feelings. Sometimes kids don’t know what to do with these strong feelings and they can interfere with your school or social life.

If you are being bullied, it is important to talk to someone who can help you immediately. Talk to a trusted adult or call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

Why do people bully?

Everyone wants to be liked and have friends. Some kids make friends by being kind and fair but others try to gain friends by controlling or intimidating people who are weaker than them. Bullies tend to pick on kids who are smaller or younger than them. They also pick on kids who they think are more passive, have fewer friends or are easily scared. Sometimes just being different in some small way can be enough to give a bully hurtful ammunition.

How can I stop a bully?

You have to respond to the situation and make decisions about what to do. There are no quick fixes but there are a number of things that you can do:

  • use humour to help take the bully by surprise
  • walk away or avoid the bully
  • try to avoid being alone – look for kids who could be your friends
  • stand up for yourself, shout, tell the bully to leave you alone
  • know when to run
  • if you have trouble connecting with other kids ask an adult to help you learn about and practice social skills
  • get help from a trusted adult (a parent, teacher, principal, school counsellor, police officer)

Whatever you choose to do, the key thing to keep in mind is that if you do not give the bully the response they want they will get no satisfaction out of tormenting you. And remember, bullying is not your fault!

Parents, teachers, schools and communities are taking bullying more seriously than ever. Talk to them or call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868. You are not alone.

Kids Help Phone © 2002. All rights reserved.  

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