Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Anti-Bullying Issue1234

What Is Bullying?

Being bullied is an all-too-common problem ​for ​school-aged children. And for every bully, there is a victim. Simply put, bullies want to control people, and they quickly learn that violence or the fear of violence will allow them to do just that. They often choose to pick on kids who are alone and don’t have a strong network of friends. These victims usually are kids on the fringe who have been rejected by others in their peer group, making them easy targets for bullies.

Because bullies like to win, they pick on kids who won’t or can’t fight back. Bullying takes many forms, including threats, violence, intimidation, destruction of property and theft.

Why Do Bullies Exhibit This Behavior?

A bully wants control over another person. With control comes power. Bullies are antisocial; they are rude and hostile on purpose, and they think bullying is a cruel but fun game. Bullies feel justified in picking on others and are probably even proud of it. In their minds, weaker or smaller kids deserve to be picked on.

Picking on someone else does not necessarily make bullies feel better about themselves because they don’t typically have low self-esteem. Contrary to popular belief, bullies usually have high opinions of themselves. Typically, bullies have the following traits:

  • Are impulsive
  • Lack empathy
  • Need to control and dominate others
  • Value aggression
  • Are usually strong and physically mature
  • Are driven by accomplishment

Inside, most bullies are not happy and they struggle to control their anger. ​Although they often are physically overdeveloped or ahead of others their age, bullies need help maturing socially and emotionally.

Who Is a Typical Bully?

Bullies learn how to intimidate and torment. A family that uses force or aggression for punishments or to settle relationship problems sets an example that bullying is an acceptable way for a person to get what he or she wants. When toddlers learn that temper tantrums — and yelling and screaming — get results, it sets the stage for possible bullying behavior later in childhood.

Bullies who don’t change their ways in adolescence are headed for an adulthood filled with violence and aggression. These antisocial behaviors often result in employment problems, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships and even criminal behavior. That’s why it is in a bully’s best interest to receive strong, negative consequences for his or her harmful, antisocial behavior.

Teaching Activity

It’s Hard to Fix a Wrinkled Heart

  • Help your child cut out a large paper heart.
  • On the heart, write, “Before you speak, think and be smart. It’s hard to fix a wrinkled heart.”
  • Ask your child to share some mean things he or she has said or has heard others say to someone. For each mean thing, wrinkle the paper heart to demonstrate the other person’s hurt.
  • Once the heart is all wrinkled up, ask your child to try to unfold and flatten the paper.
  • Even unfolded, the heart will remain wrinkled. Explain to your child that this is what happens to the hearts of people who are bullied or treated with meanness.
  • Post the heart on the refrigerator, in your child’s room or somewhere he or she will see it often as a reminder to think before speaking harshly to others.

Social Skills

Tolerating Differences

Tolerance is an important quality for children to possess and helps prevent bullying. If your child can accept ​differences in people, then he or she is less likely to demonstrate intolerant or bullying behavior. Here are the steps for the skill of “Tolerating Differences”:

  • Identify the similarities between you and another person.
  • Make note of the differences.
  • Emphasize the shared interests, tastes and activities you and the other person have.
  • Express appreciation and respect for the other person as an individual.

Coming up in Issue 2

Warning Signs of Bullying


Speaking Up for Yourself


Responding to Teasing​

Read Our Guides        
Ask A Question