Bullying happens when a child or a group of children use their power to hurt or reject someone else. The child who bullies has more power because he or she is bigger, stronger, older, more popular or has support from other children. Bullying is not a normal part of growing up.
- Using power over others
- Done on purpose
- Repeated over time
- Hurtful either physically and/or emotionally
- Serious and harmful
Not every argument, conflict or fight between children is bullying. Children will sometimes argue or will even dislike each other.
Bullying can take many forms:
- Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, stealing or damaging property
- Verbal: name-calling, threatening or rude comments
- Social: leaving people out from a group, spreading rumours or gossip, or setting others up to look foolish
- Cyber: harassing or threatening through e-mails, text messages or websites
Forms of bullying can change depending on the age and the gender of the children.
- Bullying may begin in preschool (physical and verbal) but can develop into social bullying as children grow and become more aware of other’s thoughts and feelings.
- Girls are more likely to use social bullying in their friendship circles.
- Bullying seems to increase at times of school changes (for ex., from elementary school to middle school to high school).
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