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Kids Bullying Kids. How to Stop It.

It’s easy to think of bullying as a normal part of childhood—and no big deal. After all, it’s been going on since time immemorial. The popular kids have always picked on the less popular kids. We’ve seen it at school, watched in on TV and in the movies, maybe even lived it ourselves.

So it’s easy to brush it off, to say “kids will be kids,” to tell our bullied kid to toughen up—and maybe even to be proud of our kids who bully because they are so dominant and popular.

But bullying is a big deal, not something to be brushed off. New technology has brought cyberbullying, which can be really dangerous in its anonymity and pervasiveness. Bullying does real harm.

Parents can play a crucial role—both in helping and making things worse.

In a great commentary in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Mark Schuster and Laura Bogart of Boston Children’s write about what we are learning about bullying. We know that kids who are bullied are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental and physical problems. Some even want to die—and some actually kill themselves.  But it’s not just short-term effects; bullying can lead to long-term mental and physical problems that extend long after the bullying itself has stopped. The bullies can have long-term problems too; they are more likely to have trouble with violence and other risky behaviors when they are older.

Children who are different in some way are more likely to be bullied. In one of the studies that Dr. Schuster comments on, almost two-thirds of overweight children reported being bullied at school, both by peers and by adults. In another study, a third of children with food allergies reported being bullied simply because of their food allergies. Children who are bullied for something that is part of their core identity—like being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender—are more likely to have more severe and long-term effects from bullying…

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What people are saying

20 thoughts on “Kids Bullying Kids. How to Stop It.

  1. Vikyat Miryala says:

    Where does it say how to stop bullying?

    1. Bill Campbell says:

      Give your kid a stun gun

  2. Ed Miller says:

    Its like saying lets stop wars. Bullying is intrinsic to the human psyche. Many kids do this until they become more mature. To spend big money on trying to stop it is like trying to create a country in the middle of the ocean. The best parents can do is educate your kid to be aware, read people, and be socially smart as well as be physically active and athletic so as to have the best chance to recognize a problem and to fend off an attack if necessary.

    1. Tim O'Connor says:

      What's wrong with telling your kids to stand up for themselves? Over protective parents are the problem and they need to give up on this crusade to right the wrong they feel they experienced. I don't remember kids getting this upset about being bullied until these weak parents stepped in. You can't protect your children forever and you send the wrong message that you'll be there to intervene forever.

    2. Jason Zeien says:

      Yeah. When did everyone turn into pussies? Show some spine.

    3. Harold Lloyd says:

      Then what do you say to a kid ho takes a knife or a gun to school because he was bullied?

  3. Norman Moore says:

    Take away the internet. We have entered a new world where kids can go online and feel things that took guts before. Now everyone has guts with the click of youtube and feeling of control.

  4. Faramarz Abedini says:

    This is just regurgitating other stuff…. Ok let's stop bullying. What is it you are proposing????!!!??? What actions are you suggesting parents to take?

  5. I know what bullying is. However, I'm at a loss to discover "how to stop it" in these six paragraphs.

  6. I kind of agree with miller in the fact that bullying is like war. However, I do believe that parents, teachers and other staff at school can lesson the effects of being bullied even with cyberbullying. Since cyberbullying needs the internet, parents can block the harmful sites; At school if the teachers and staff know they can take special care to protect the kids who are bullied from thier bullies.
    Ultimately, I was disappointed with this article since it didn't even say how to stop bullying, just that we should. Well of course we want to stop bullying! Point taken, now what?

  7. Make bullying a form of assault, which is what it is.

    1. Amen – you are so right!

    1. Brent Colvin says:

      Clearly you do.

    2. Jason Zeien says:

      I'm just an information connoisseur Brent. I don't think bullying is an issue. I think Americans turning into soft ass pussies is bigger issue.

    3. Jason Zeien says:

      I mean let's be real. When I was younger I was able to stand up for myself and kids that were not as strong as me, mentally or physically. I could defend myself and take action without worrying about getting expelled from school or thrown in jail. Kids aren't allowed to do that these days. Instead they bottle up all of their emotions until they snap and bring a gun to school and shoot the place up and kill themselves. But this article didn't say anything about that.

  8. Harold Lloyd says:

    Kids and even adults who are bullies do it for a reason, usually because their life sucks in some aspect.
    But you don't make yourself feel better by making somebody else feel worse.
    If you want to feel better, make someone else feel better.

  9. Mill Rat says:

    I had 5 brothers and learned about bullying and fixing the bullying real early….If it was not something I had started or wanted as attention, I considered it bullying, and it was always fixed by a well placed couple of kicks to the boys groin area….The news got around and no one ever made the same mistake towards me again……

  10. Mark Aldridge says:

    The real problem is the way adults react to bullying.

    When the bully commits the assault it is ignored.

    If the child being bullied complains then the adults tells them they need to grow up and deal with the "real world".

    If the child that is being bullied retaliates on the bully, the child that was inittially being bullied is nearly always punished.

    The child being bullied is really in a no win situation when adults behave this way, and in my experience the adults nearly always do.

    This creates a frustration that can be a ticking time bomb.

    Adults must start actually caring about these issues rather than just talking about them for political gain.

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