At first glance, many people might think Bullying is easy to define. Their first image of bullying might be of a physically intimidating boy beating up a smaller classmate. While that can still be considered bullying today, parents need to know that bullying behaviors can be much more complex and varied than the stereotype:
- The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally.
- The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves.
- Many definitions include a statement about the "imbalance of power", described as when the student with the bullying behavior has more "power", either physically, socially, or emotionally, such as higher social status, is physically larger or emotionally intimidating.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying 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.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
- Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet
- Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit
- Online gaming communities
- Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
- Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile or tablet devices
Bullying Prevention Resources
Programs and resources for teens, parents, and schools, including information on National Bullying Prevention Month (October), online surveys, and a digital petition. Teens Against Bullying offers engaging activities and strategies for teens to combat bullying.