Types of Bullying

Does your child feel like he has a target on his back? A bully can use five different types of bullying to intimidate another person. By being informed about the different types of bullying, you can help stop this hurtful behavior.

Physical Bullying and Hazing
Physical bullying involves the use of physical force or intimidation tactics to someone's body or property. Hitting, kicking or pushing another person, or even threatening to do it, is one of the most common types of bullying. Some bullies resort to even the most childish behaviors such as hair pulling, biting, and pinching are methods some bullies. Stealing, hiding or ruining a victim's possessions is also considered physical bullying. Any use of force that requires your child to do something against his will is a type of physical bullying. One of the most prevalent examples of this is hazing.

Hazing happens when you are forced to perform usually in a humiliating or degrading way to fit into a group. Extreme types of hazing can cause lasting physical or emotional harm. If you fear that your child might be subject to hazing, talk to him about it. There's no reason any child should have to endure this process.

Verbal and Emotional Bullying
The childhood rhyme says "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Not true.  Verbal bullying is common. Name-calling, teasing, insulting and gossiping are widespread forms of the practice.

Ever had someone refuse to talk to you? A relationship bully tries to divide and conquer with gossip and innuendo. By spreading lies or rumors about another person, a bully is able to alienate your child from a core group of friends. Sometimes, that bully can influence other people not to talk or hang out with the victim. The result could be that your child has been pushed out of a clique or a group of friends.  

Emotional bullying not only focuses on the victim, but many times, the victim's family and home are targeted also. Emotional bullying happens when there is harm to someone's self-esteem or feeling of safety. Emotional bullying is common among girls, although some boys sometimes use it. This is also the most difficult type of bullying to demonstrate or protect against.

Cyber Bullying
Cyber-bullying, or internet bullying, is the newest form of technology-enabled bullying. Instead of spreading a rumor verbally, the bully emails or instant messages a rumor about another person. In some cases, cyber-bullies have created websites filled with false information. The common media of cyber-bullying include blogs, instant message systems, e-mail, chat rooms and text messages.  

Teach your child that bullies are the ones with the problem, which they project onto their victims. Building your child's confidence can diffuse bullying incidents. If the situation does spiral out of control, you and your child should discuss the situation with a school administrator or other authority.

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