Whether your a brand new parent years away from the first day of school or the mom of a teen getting ready to graduate high school, understanding bullying facts can help you keep your child safe from this emotional epidemic.
Bullying can cause so much damage to a child. At best, it causes anxiety and depression. At worse, children engage in self-harming behaviors such as cutting, drug abuse and even suicide attempts. Take a look at these bullying facts that every parent should know.
Ten Bullying Facts You NEED to Know
1. The definition is vague, making it difficult to pin down the act.
Before you can stop bullying, you need to know what it is. The thing is, there isn’t really a clear-cut definition. Most agree that bullying involves hurtful words or physical aggression from one person or group to another person or group. Some believe that it has to be a repeated event to count as bullying. For example, words exchanged in a heated one-time fight don’t really count as bullying.
2. 1 in 4 kids have been bullied at school.
Wow. Think about that for a moment. That’s 25% of children who have been bullied at some point. As parents, we like to think “it won’t happen to my kids!” When 25% of kids are bullied, though, the sad fact is your child has a good chance of having it happen to him. This in one of the most important bullying facts because it shows you the reality of just how bad it is.
3. Children who are depressed are more likely to get bullied.
Talk about adding insult to injury: if your child is already depressed, anxious or has low self-esteem, she is at a greater risk of being bullied. Bullying, in turn, makes these conditions worse. Other less surprising risk factors: kids who are seen as “different” than the crowd and those who have a hard time getting along with others.
4. School prevention programs have been met with very little success.
While it’s important for schools to have some sort of bullying prevention program in place, sadly these programs rarely succeed on a grand level. Some have had moderate success while others just fail miserably. That doesn’t mean we should stop trying though, it just means schools haven’t found the magical formula that works. Perhaps schools could take a cue from Kate Walton and her bullying prevention tips.
5. Bullying alone typically does not cause suicidal behavior.
Statistics show that the relationship between bullying and suicide is not as strong as we may think it is based on the media coverage we see. Typically, children who commit suicide have numerous other risk factors aside from just being bullied. Remember, kids who are depressed are more likely to be bullied. They’re also more likely to attempt suicide.
6. Bullying is NOT a crime in the United States
There is no federal law against bullying. The only time that it is actually considered a crime is when there is an element of harassment involved. Harassment, sadly, is incredibly difficult to prove. States may have legislation that defines parts of bullying as a crime but again, they seem difficult to enforce. Hopefully these laws will become more solid and easy to navigate, making it easier to report bullies and put a stop to their actions.
7. Kindergartners can be bullied too.
Perhaps one of the most alarming bullying facts is that it can start as early as kindergarten. In some cases, even as early as in preschool! As if young kids don’t have enough to be nervous about when starting kids. Now you have to prepare your kindergartner for dealing with bullying on top of everything else!
8. Bullying is typically a group activity.
While movies would have us believe that there is a single bully in every class, the truth is that kids often bully in groups. Sometimes, kids end up bullying other kids simply because they want to be part of that group. Peer pressure is a very strong motivator, especially among teens.
9. Adults sometimes just don’t get it.
According to StopBullying.gov, there is a disconnect between the way kids see bullying and the way we as adults see it. We tend to blow things off as kids being kids or hand out platitudes like “just ignore them and they’ll stop.” Our children, on the other hand, take those hurtful words much more to heart than we would at our age. That’s why we loved talking to H.G. Sansostri. He gave us a great perspective on how kids deal with bullying.
10. You are your child’s best role model to prevent bullying
I saved one of the most important bullying facts for last. If you want to prevent bullying or stop your child from becoming a bully, you need to model good behavior. Be kind and compassionate, not just towards your kids but to everyone. Kids often follow in their parent’s footsteps. If you are prone to hurling insults in the midst of a fight, don’t be surprised if your child is too.
What do you think of these bullying facts? Do any of them surprise you?
22 thoughts on “Ten Bullying Facts Every Parent Should Know”
I have 2 boys by two different men. My husband and I have a 13 year together and I also have a 21 year old. My oldest one never had these problems but my little one has been bullied ever since he was in daycare. Tonight he was beaten pretty bad. I’m so scared next time it could be much worse. He is in middle school as nd was beaten by boys in high school and not just one. My husband and I walked for hours asking anyone if they had seen anything but even adults seem scared. I’m lost. What happened to humans? I cannot figure out how others can just turn a cheek and watch a child get a beating by punch of older kids. My son is the one that is picked all the time but I’m scared for him and his life . Why? Why won’t you leave him alone?
You are your child’s best role model to prevent bullying – this is the best thing we parents should do. The children see the world in all their innocence and look up to their parents for guidance on how to act on certain things. A happy home is what we should all work at achieving, after all, society’s core unit is the family.
I completely agree. We can’t expect kids to treat others well if we don’t model that behavior ourselves.
I agree we should model. The problem is most bullies do not have the correct model. My daughter is in kindergarten and at dismissal is brought to her brothers class in 2nd grade. He has a beast of a boy in his class who is relentless. He is constantly picking on my daughter calling her ugly, fat and haunt. Tells her she smells. Told her he was going to get his father to beat her up. Ya, all this from an 8 yo boy. My son has been trying to protect her but he’s only a boy himself. I will admit that I blew it off at first thinking she was just being sensitive but now he is threatening her… I’m not having it! This kids mother believes her son is perfect and does not believe he s saying these things. Besides my daughter… one other parent has had n use and I was told by my son this boy old him if he gets in trouble once more hell be suspended. I’m not giving up on this for my daughter because she deserves to be happy at school!
I was someone who was bullied in school! I found some of the best friends and was able to get threw it. It needs to be put to a stop!
I am so sorry to hear that! I was bullied during the early years. As a teen, I embraced my “weirdness” and although I was still picked on a bit, it wasn’t as bad because people realized I just didn’t care what they thought of me anymore.
I’m in my 20’s and not a mom, but I was bullied constantly from 7th grade until college. I was never really a shy girl and outwardy didn’t display how awful it felt to be harrassed by the “cool” kids. I was not part of any clubs or teams etc. I think the number of kids bullied is much higher; it’s just that some do not realize they were actually bullied until many years later (like myself). I thought everyone talked shit about everyone else online. Internet bullying is the big thing these days and it’s hard because kids can’t even get relief at home when they are concerned about what others are posting online about them.
Mobile bullies–pathetic. I knowwhen I have kids they will NOT be on any social media sites via an iPhone lol.
I think you’re right, many people don’t really understand the full scope of bullying. It’s not until we look back that we realize how prevalent it was when we were in school. I’m in my 30s, and they didn’t really even call it bullying back then. They just called it “kids being kids and teasing.” I also agree, with kids being online, they really get no break from it. Bullying on social media follows them home. It’s sad.
It saddens me when another child dies because of bullying… We need regular schools discussion on the subject. Happy Valentine’s Day
I agree, it is tragic. Schools really do need to make bullying prevention an important part of their regular discussion. I hope you had a Happy Valentine’s Day too!
One in four kids being bullied is quite a high number. I would have never guessed that it would be that high.
I didn’t realize it was that high either. I had to double-check that statistic against other sources to make sure it wasn’t inflated. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be.
Bullying is such a disturbing phenomena. Many kids won’t tell anybody they’re being bullied until it’s too late. Great info…thanks for sharing
Thank you. Yes, it is a disturbing thing. I wish more kids would let someone know what they’re going through before it overwhelms them completely.
I agree that kids even in Kindergarten can be bullied. I happened to my daughter. I really wish there was an easy fix.
I am so sorry it happened to your daughter. For my son, it really started in 1st grade with this one boy. This kid is still in his class and still being a bully, although he seems to have mellowed out a bit. I told my son, this year, Mommy is skipping the school and calling the cops if he keeps it up. It gets to the point where you really don’t know what else to do.
My son was verbally bullied and physically bullied.. there was no mistaking that.. i had to go to the school and put a stop to it ASAP! There is no reason for it!
Did the school help put a stop to it? You’re right, there is no reason for that. My son’s school is a bit lazy about stopping bullying.
I can totally relate to this post! In elementary school, I was the one in red. It was very difficult and I ended up leaving school before graduation. Teachers ignored it, principal didn’t want to see what was going on because it was her final year before retirement and she wanted it blemish free. It was very difficult! I think the more we educate our kids the better off they’ll be!
I am so sorry that you ended up leaving before graduation. It’s not fair that you were the one bullied yet you had to put your life in upheaval to escape it.
Best new method of dealing with bullying, totally different ( based on defeating the need of the bully to fight and feel strong) is presented by Izzy Kallman manhattan ny and his website with videos Bullies2Buddies.com
I am bringing him to Buffalo as part of my new Society for the Advanceemnt of self and Relational Psychoanalysis
Send me your e mail if you want to know of his seminar.
My son has been bullied terribly. Now he knows how to handle it and they go away ( with their eyes crossed:
“what just happened here?”
carol Munschauer Phd