It is an imbalance of power. Kids who bully use their power - such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity - to control or harm others.
It is repetition. The behaviors happen more than once or could happen more than once.
Signs a Child is Being Bullied
Lost or destroyed property.
Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness.
Changes in eating habits.
Suddenly skipping meals or binge eating.
Coming home hungry from schools (because they didn't eat lunch).
Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares.
Declining grades, loss of interest in school work, or not wanting to go to school.
Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations.
Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem.
Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
Signs a Child is Bullying Others
Gets into physical or verbal fights.
Has friends who bully others.
Is increasingly aggressive.
Getting sent to the principal's office or to detention frequently.
Have unexplained extra money or new belongings.
Blame others for their problems.
Don't accept responsibility for their actions.
Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity.
Why don't kids ask for help?
Bullying can make a child feel helpless. They may want to handle it on their own to feel in control again. They may fear being seen as weak or a tattletale.
Kids may fear backlash from the kid who bullied them.
Bullying can be a humiliating experience. Kids may not want adults to know what is being said about them, whether true or false. They may also fear that adults will judge them or punish them for being weak.
Kids who are bullied may already feel socially isolated. They may feel like no one cares or could understand.
Kids may fear being rejected by their peers. Friends can help protect kids from bullying, and kids can fear losing this support.
What is Cyberbullying?
It is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets.
It can occur through SMS, Test, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.
It includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else.
It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation.
Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
Signs a Child is Being Cyberbullied or is Cyberbullying Others
Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.
A child exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.
A child hides their screen or device when others are near, and avoids discussion about what they are doing on their device.
Social media accounts are shut down or new ones appear.
A child starts to avoid social situations, even those that were enjoyed in the past.
A child becomes withdrawn or depressed, or loses interest in people and activities.