The term “bullying” means to harm or intimidate someone and in most cases the aggressor themselves have very low self esteem.  Statistics from 2019 show that one out of five school aged children ages 12-18 have experienced some form of bullying and about 160,000 teenagers have admitted to skipping school to avoid being bullied. Although middle school and high school students are the most likely to experience bullying, reports of grade school children are starting to increase.  Victims of bullying are also 7-9% more likely to consider suicide and these are three types of bullying which all will have a negative impact on children and adults.

Physical

This involves punching, hitting and other acts of intentional physical harm by the aggressor. We should teach our children to defend themselves in situations when needed. However they should also be taught that it’s not okay to be physical with others in ways that make them feel uncomfortable or threatened.

Verbal 

The aggressor tries to verbally taunt and tease the victim by focusing on their appearance, race or intellect.  This is the form of bullying that I was subject to in elementary school. I can recall walking home everyday from school alone, with a crowd of kids behind me being so cruel the entire way.  They made fun of my glasses and teased me about my long hair which I began to realize was done out of pure jealousy and insecurities that they all had within themselves.

Emotional 

This is most common in relationships by a person taunting to cause distress to their partner as a way to break down their esteem. This is why knowing your worth is important and understanding that you shouldn’t accept anything less than you deserve.

Cyber

This is most popular in today’s society and is related to technology.  This tends to take place on social sites where the aggressor shows how much of a coward they are by hiding behind fake names and identities.   As parents, it’s important that we have some knowledge of what our children are doing on social media to protect them and others.

Any form of bullying is not cool but being kind is always the right thing to do.  Your actions towards someone could either be the cause of them pushing through a bad day or the effect of pushing someone over the edge to potentially taking their own life.  Show compassion, provide someone with a feeling of hopefulness rather helplessness. Be the sunshine someone may need on their cloudy day and be cool by being kind.