Many adults think that bullying is a problem that all children must learn to deal with as they grow up. However, according to Department of Health and Human Services website, stopbullying.gov, bullying is not just a phase or something that we all have to go through, it is not "just messing around", and it is not something that kids eventually just grow out of. Bullying is a serious problem that causes long-lasting harm.
Although definitions of bullying can vary, most experts agree that bullying involves:
- An Imbalance of Power: A bully is usually older or bigger than the person they are bullying. The child exhibiting bullying behavior uses their power to control or harm the victim being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves.
- Intent to Cause Harm: If an action is done by accident then it is not bullying; but if the person bullying has a goal to cause harm, then that is bullying.
- Repetition: Incidents of bullying typically happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group of people, but events can occur singularly, as well.
- Bullying is Real: It happens every single day all around us. In one way or another most of us have experienced bullying – either personally as a victim, bystander or even as the bully.
Most bullying occurs because we are different from one another. Kids get teased because they are built differently than the “average” person or they get left out of a group of individuals because someone in that group doesn’t like the way they dress or is jealous of that person’s looks, abilities or possessions.
The truth is that we are all different but we are also all very similar, too. If we take the time to get to know each other we will see that our differences make us unique and interesting. Unfortunately, as long as there are differences in the way we look, dress, act, think, some people will respond to those differences in a negative way.