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Bullying is unwanted often aggressive behaviors, in which someone intentionally and potentially repeatedly causes another person physical or emotional harm. Bullying
takes on many forms and can happen to individuals of all ages. As stated by President Obama “being bullied is not just a rite of passage or part of growing up.”
Common examples of bullying include being:
- Teased/picked on.
- Attacked physically, verbally or emotionally.
- Excluded from group activities.
The good news is more and more people are aware of bullying, and there are many great resources available to prevent or stop the behavior.
What can I do as a parent/teacher or supervisor?
- Have open communication and give your child, student or employee a safe environment to talk about any issues.
- Remind them that this is not tattling and they did the right thing.
- Don’t dismiss or ignore any claims that are brought to you.
- If you see bullying in action, stop the behavior immediately and document the incident.
- Stay observant and look for behaviors that indicate bullying and be aware of areas where bullying can occur more often such as playgrounds, buses, bathrooms or on a computer.
- Model positive behaviors and reward positive interactions.
- Provide education on how to prevent bullying and practice strategies to cope with or stop bullying.
What if I am being bullied?
- Tell your parents or a trusted adult. Telling is not tattling.
- Don’t bully back. They will feel the same way you do and this can make the problem even worse.
- Avoid unsupervised areas or known areas where bullying occurs.
- Respond firmly or say nothing and walk away. If this happens online or over the phone, don’t reply but print out a copy of the posting, text or email and share with a trusted adult.
- Develop friendships and stick up for your friends.
- Act confident. Many bullies will only continue the behavior if what they do visibly bothers you.