What is Bullying?

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“Bullying is when you tease a person, call them names, hate them and leave them out of your games. Bullies also take your lunch or your lunch money. Sometimes they ignore you exist. Some people are bullied because of their skin colour.” – Brian

If you have been bullied you know how bad it feels. It can leave you feeling hurt, scared, embarrassed, and lonely and even not wanting to go back to school. Bullies hit, kick, punch and push to hurt people, they also use words to call names, threaten, tease and scare them. Bullying is a big problem in our schools and sometimes even in our homes. It breaks down our self-esteem as we are battered by unkind words or angry fists. Bullying is never right. No matter what the situation is, we all have a choice as to how we treat other people.

What can you do if you are being bullied?

So what can you do if you are being bullied? The first thing you can do is avoid the bully as much as possible. If they do come to you try to ignore them. Bullies want a big reaction to their teasing, and acting as if you don’t notice might stop the bully’s behaviour. If the bully is really threatening you, make sure you stick with your friends and if you have somewhere to go at school, walk in a group. This is also the time to get an adult involved. Maybe it’s one of your teachers, your mom and dad or another adult that you trust. Sometimes bullies stop as soon as a teacher or parent finds out because they’re afraid they will be punished by their parents. Finally, to protect yourself from the hurtful and unkind words of a bully you need to stand tall. I don’t mean fight back or bully back. What I’m talking about is knowing who you are and believing in yourself. If you know you are a great, talented, unique person those mean words aren’t going to stick to you. They’re going to fall flat like wet toilet paper. When the bully realizes that, he’s going to lose interest, or start looking a bit silly himself.

Do bullies also need help?

Some bullies come from homes where everybody is angry and shouting all the time. They may think that all the hurtful words they hear, all the name calling and the aggressive behaviour they see is the normal way to act. When they get to school they treat other people the same way. Sometimes they are the ones been bullied in their own homes and so when they come to school they become the bullies to try and get some power back. Other bullies are just looking for attention or think that if they are a bully they will be popular. How crazy is that! Most bullies just want to make themselves feel more important by making others do what they say or by breaking them down. But that’s why bullies also need help. Something inside of them doesn’t feel important enough. Although they act all big and tough (or lean and mean), often they are very insecure or hiding hurts of their own. The sad part is that they end up hurting the very people who could help them through their hard times and be real friends to them. The good news is that everyone can learn to change their behaviour, even a bully. Some bullies realize that their behaviour didn’t make them popular after all or didn’t get them the attention or respect they were hoping for. This is where you are a good example of someone who is confident, kind and happy in your group of friends. The bully might start wishing that he had what you have and decide to start changing his behaviour. A school counsellor, his parents or a Kids Life Coach could really help him.
Remember, no one deserves to be bullied. If you or someone you know is being bullied, get help. Talk to a trusted adult or come talk to me and together we will sort it out. You are far too precious to be hurt by anyone… no matter if they’re using ‘sticks and stones to break your bones’ or words that have the potential to scar you.

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