If you have been bullied, you know how bad it feels. But you might not know how many other kids have felt exactly the same way.
We were wondering what kids thought about this tough topic so we asked 1,229 boys and girls to answer some questions about bullying. Nearly half of them said they had been bullied before. Some said it was happening every day. Others said it only happened once in a while. Here's how the group answered:
How often have you been bullied?
The KidsPoll also asked how many of these kids were bullies themselves. Most of them (58%) said they never bullied others, but the rest said that they did.
As you have probably guessed, some kids said they were both bullies and the victims of bullies. Why is that? Well, some kids learn to bully because they have been subjected to mean, unfair treatment themselves — by others or by their families. That's sad, but it's no excuse. Everyone can choose to act in new and better ways. It's never too late.
Most kids know what bullying is. It's being mean and hurtful toward someone else, often when that person has trouble defending himself or herself. The bully gets satisfaction (feels good) when he or she gets a reaction out of the person being bullied. Like if a bully tells a kid, "You're ugly!" and the kid cries and runs away, that's satisfaction for the bully.
It can be hard for kids to know what to do if a bully bothers them. About half of the kids said they fight back. There are a lot of problems with this solution. First, one or both of the kids could get hurt. Unlike on TV, where actors are just pretending to fight, when kids punch, kick, and push each other, they can get real injuries, like bruises, cuts, and broken bones.
Fighting is also against the rules (both in and out of school), so the two kids could get in trouble even if the bully started the whole thing. The most important reason not to fight is that violence isn't a good way to solve problems. The bully still gets the satisfaction of seeing the picked-on kid get really upset.
But the good news is that more than half of the kids said they did something other than fight. They said they:
There are two keys to solving bullying:
Grownups are important because they can discipline kids who are bullies, help kids who have been bullied to build their confidence and strength, and help kids who witness bullying to use their power to change things for the better.
Without cooperation between kids and grownups, bullying can be a big problem that doesn't get better. And when no one does anything, the bullied kid can feel worse and worse. In fact, 14% of the kids surveyed said being bullied can make them afraid to go to school.
So what do kids do when they see someone being bullied? Well, too many of them do nothing (16%) or join in (20%). But the rest of the kids are on the right track. They said they would say or do something to try and stop it (41%) or tell someone who could help (23%).
When kids tell an adult about a bully, it's a way of saying that bullying is not cool. Most kids (72%) already know this and said bullies are usually sort of un-cool or very un-cool. But 28% of kids said bullies are either sort of cool or very cool.
Don't let bullies get this idea at your school. Kids can support each other by letting a bully know that treating others this way isn't cool or popular.
|BrainPop This is a great site for kids with informational movies about science, anatomy, weather, and more.|
|McGruff.org A safe place where kids can learn about safety and how to protect themselves through playing fun and interactive games.|
|Tolerance.org Tolerance.org encourages people from all walks of life to fight hate and promote tolerance.|
|Stop Bullying This U.S. government website offers valuable resources for kids and adults on bullying awareness, prevention, and intervention.|
|Kids Talk About: Bullying (Video) Hear what real kids have to say about bullying and how it feels to get bullied or watch it happen to someone else.|
|The Story on Self-Esteem You need self-esteem, but it doesn't always come naturally. Find out what it means to feel good about yourself.|
|Dealing With Peer Pressure Did you ever feel like another kid was trying to get you to do something you didn't want to do? If so, you've felt peer pressure. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|How Do I Help a Kid Who's Bullied? Being bullied stinks. But what if you see it happening to someone else? You can help. Find out how.|
|What to Do if You Don't Like School Everyone has a bad day at school once in a while, but some kids really don't like school. Read this article for kids to find out more.|
|Dealing With Bullies No one likes a bully. Find out how to handle them in this article for kids.|
|A World Without Bullying: Brigitte's Story Brigitte Berman survived bullying in middle school. Now she's helping kids stand up for kids who are teased.|
|Should You Fight a Bully? There are usually better, smarter choices than fighting if you are dealing with a bully.|
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