Bullying is something we should all take seriously. It’s a problem for both kids who are bullied and for kids who do the bullying.
Sadly, bullying is part of lots of kids’ experience at school. It usually starts in elementary school and is most common in middle school. It happens less often in high school, but it is still common.
Kids who are bullied are more likely to feel bad about themselves. These bad feelings can lead to depression or anxiety. They might try to avoid things that would otherwise make them happy, like school, friends, or new activities. Bullied kids might take extreme action, like using violence to get revenge or hurting themselves.
Kids who bully other kids also need help. They are more likely to drop out of school, have problems with drugs or alcohol, and break the law. Kids who bully are often bullied themselves or think violence is ok because it happens at home.
Parents can help stop bullying by talking openly with their kids and modeling good behavior. Teach kids how to stand up for themselves and for others. Show them how to be empathetic and control their anger and impulses. Set firm rules, but don’t enforce them with physical punishment. Encourage kids to participate in activities and develop positive friendships. Encourage kids to talk to a counselor about what’s going on. Many schools offer counseling services for free.