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Over 25% of children and teens in the US admit to being the victim of bullying, with 15% admitting to being cyber-bullied. The effects of this kind of behavior can cause issues from social anxiety and depression, to eating disorders and even suicide. If you think your child (of any age) is being bullied at school, this article covers several resources that we hope will help.

Please forward these resources on to anyone you think could benefit from them, including teachers.

If we take the definition of bullying put forward by Stopbullying.gov as: “unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition”, we see that bullying is of two main kinds.

The first is direct, where the victim is present. The second is indirect, where the victim in not present (i.e. spreading rumors and cyber-bullying). This is on top of the obvious different forms of bullying: verbal, physical, relational, and damage of private property.

Each of these forms of bullying can be equally as harmful to the victim as the others. We must tackle them all.

The Depressing Statistics of Bullying

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Before moving to the online resources, take a look at these figures from a number of academic studies from the past few years. This is an issue that’s worryingly prevalent across the US. The UK bullying figures are equally severe.

But let’s not deceive ourselves with numbers and percentages. Despite almost a third of children and teenagers being bullied, to each one of these victims, it feels as though they are the only person in the world feeling this pain. The challenge is, as the poet Shane Koyczan says in his beautiful spoken poem on bullying, “if you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself, get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer!”. 

Back in 2012, we wrote a list of websites aimed at parents and children who wanted to deal with bullying 5 Websites That Help Parents & Children Deal With Bullying Or Cyberbullying 5 Websites That Help Parents & Children Deal With Bullying Or Cyberbullying For years bullying had been thought of as a necessary rite of passage to adulthood. If bullying is a devil’s trait, then we as concerned citizens and parents can play protectors. Educating ourselves about how... Read More . Since then, the Internet’s options to help with this problem have grown massively, with one of the most heart-wrenching being ImGettingBullied.com where you can read the devastating effects of bullying (and cyber-bullying 5 Reasons You Really Don't Have To Worry If You're Cyberbullied [Opinion] 5 Reasons You Really Don't Have To Worry If You're Cyberbullied [Opinion] A lot of cyberbully "gurus" tell kids about making online posts - that what you post online you can never take back. The thing is, that's not entirely true. I'm here to give you a... Read More ) on the victims.

Strain (Short Film)

Before moving on to any of the other resources below, I urge you to watch this beautifully edited, heart-breaking silent short film about bullying in High School. It’s just 11 minutes long, but will show like no other short film out there what victims of bullying have to go through. It’ll explain, without words, why this is so important, and why it’s so urgent that we teach our children to deal with bullying as early-on as possible.

For another short film focusing on younger children, watch Just Being Me.

StompOutBullying.Org

StopBullying

This fantastic site covers a number of practical areas for both parents and younger kids/teens. One particularly useful page is this template of a bullying prevention letter you should be sending to the school if your child is being bullied to ensure they receive the protection needed.

Another great page to check out is this tip sheets for kids to help them know how to deal with bullying, including some perfect advice: “The best revenge is for you to be happy!”

KnowBullying (iOS & Android)

KnowBullying is a free app (Android and iOS) on the SAMHSA website designed to assist in preventing bullying by helping parents to start a daily conversation with their children to “build resilience and help prevent bullying issues”.

The time spent in these conversations with your child will help to build self-confidence, self-belief, and strategies for dealing with bullying.  Within the app are conversation starters and reminders, along with information on how to look out for warning signs.

Celebs Who’ve Been Bullied

It’s no surprise that a good number of famous names have been the victim of bullying when they were younger. From Rihanna and Megan Fox, to Barack Obama and Christian Bale (that’s right, Batman), many celebs have been tormented and picked on.

By showing your children that they’re are not alone, and that being bullied has no bearing on their future potential, their likeability, popularity and success, you’ll offer a line of hope and confidence that a standard chat may not be able to offer.

Bullying: No Way!

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This small but incredible site is split into various sections for teachers, parents, and students who are 8 or younger, 13 or younger and 14 or older.

Apps for iPhone and Android are also available.

Kids: The kids section of the site is hugely intuitive for children to follow, offering short videos, encouraging words, useful advice and links to other, easy to understand resources that help them out.

The Android and iPhone app also have interactive animations where children can read about different situations and see how different actions control the endings.

Parents: The practical articles here are not just on how to help you child if they are a victim, but also offer guidance on what to do if your child is the one doing the bullying, which is something that’s often overlooked.

Teachers: There’s some fun lesson plans and classroom activities on offer to help students learn more about bullying, as well as links to find out more about Whole School Strategies, and lots more.

Ways To Stop Bullying (video)

This 5 minute, uplifting video from WatchWellCast is a perfect example of what you should be showing your kids if they’re being bullied. Explain who else has been bullied, the silly reasons people are bullied for, and a four step method on how to deal with bullies with the help of the video.

By really sitting down with your kid(s), and talking through their thoughts and concerns, you’ll be doing them a massive favor. Another great video made by the same team is “How to Deal With Cyberbullies“, which is definitely worth a watch.

STOPit (iOS, Android, & Windows Phone)

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STOPit is a company that’s working with schools to help prevent cyberbullying with the help of mobile apps. If a child sees something online about themselves, or another student that they think is inappropriate, they can send a message or screenshot about this to the school or a trusted adult/friend (anonymously if they like).

Some of the features on offer include:

  • 2-way anonymous communication
  • Video upload
  • 1-touch reporting
  • Location aware services for requesting assistance

For schools, an impressive reporting and management platform is available to help deal with any reports that come through. If you think your child’s school could benefit from this new app, advise them to visit the School Program page on the STOPit website.

Download: STOPit for iOS | Android | Windows Phone

The Resources are Endless

When it comes to combatting bullying, the resources online are endless. Those mentioned in this article are among the best we’ve found, along with other articles we’ve written on how to deal with bullying on Facebook Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips] Abused, Bullied & Harassed On Facebook: 6 Ways To Get Back Your Dignity [Weekly Facebook Tips] Facebook isn't a safe haven. A recent study by GMI revealed that one in ten Facebook users have experienced some form of abuse. Among 18 - 24 year olds, one in four were affected. Offenders... Read More , an examination on the safety of sites like YikYak and Snapchat How Safe Are Apps Like Kik, Yik Yak And Snapchat For Teens? How Safe Are Apps Like Kik, Yik Yak And Snapchat For Teens? What's safe for my child? Will they be safe on the Internet? Is this a safe app? The reality is that nothing is safe - it's how you use it that makes it safe. Read More for teens, and how to identify an anonymous cyberbully.

What’s really needed here, though, isn’t a ton of reading check-lists and self-help articles. It’s an understanding about how bullying makes people feel, and how we can ensure victims know that those things they’re being bullied for, are likely the things that will help them stand out and be successful in the future. They are not alone, and that given time, the bullying will stop.

To end, I’d like to suggest watching the spoken poem by Shane Koyczan that I mentioned at the start of this article. This is a strong reminder of what it’s like to be bullied, and a message of strength to those who are going through it now.

Please, if you know anyone who these resources might benefit, share this article, and also share other resources you’ve found helpful in the comments.

Image Credits: bullies teasing small kid Via Shutterstock, Bullying- Vicky by Twentyfour Students (Flickr)

  1. Paul Coleman
    May 19, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Admittedly, dragonmouth's comment sounds a bit blunt or extreme in spots. Maybe that's why he calls himself dagonmouth. But some of the responses sound like grownup versions of bullying. 'How dare he have a dissenting opinion?' His opponents sound a bit like they're ranting.

  2. Timothy
    May 16, 2015 at 10:27 am

    The best advice on bullying I've found comes from here:

    http://www.jw.org/en/bible-teachings/family/teenagers/whiteboard-animations/beat-a-bully-without-using-your-fists/

    It's a whiteboard animation that gives kids ideas on how to beat a bully without fighting and how to avoid bad situations.

    • Rob
      May 18, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Thanks for the link, Timothy!

  3. Christopher
    May 14, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I was bullied in 7th grade by a group of older kids much taller than I was. One day, after being pushed from behind, I quickly turned around and hit the tallest one square in the mouth. He was so tall that I had to JUMP to land one on his face. I was never bullied by anyone at that school again.

    Bullies pick on those who don't defend themselves. Stand up for yourself and they'll likely find someone easier to pick on.

    • Rob
      May 14, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      I guess sometimes this can work, but unless the kid actually 'wins', this can often make the bullying worse.

    • Andy
      May 15, 2015 at 12:57 am

      Had a similar experience but my bully was such a wuss that all I had to do was push him lightly on the chest. He stayed right away from me for the rest of high school.

    • Christopher
      May 20, 2015 at 3:33 am

      "this can often make the bullying worse" - Sorry but that is just not true. The outcome of the confrontation doesn't matter. What matters is that an effort is made to defend one's self. For whatever reason, a bully is compelled to exert power over another person. That power is fueled by his victim's fear. Just like a thief will choose the easiest target, so will a bully. It's just that simple.

    • Rob Nightingale
      May 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      I think the outcome of the confrontation is a huge deciding factor here. If the victim is in no physical shape to stand up to the bully, it could most definitely make things worse. So, a slightly build kid, trying to pummel the school hard-knock, only to be knocked down with one punch, to be laughed at and sneered at? That's going to make things worse. It gives people an easy laugh, and an easy win, and most definitely stops the bully getting bored.

  4. dragonmouth
    May 13, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    To believe that anti-bullying laws and web sites will curtail bullying is naive. In fact, anti-bullying laws are themselves an example of bullying - conform to what we say or you will be punished. This is no different than a bunch of "in crowd" kids telling the kids on the outside to conform to the "in crowd" behavior or be ostracized.

    Bullying is as old as the human race. To get rid of bullying, the human psychological makeup would have to be changed. Human race is not a homogenous hive mind where everybody thinks alike and we all love each other. We are individuals, each with our own set of likes and dislikes and opinions. We all think that OUR group holds the right beliefs, does the right things, and that everybody else should conform to US. We enforce that by, physically and/or mentally, trying to bully others into accepting our views.

    When cliques of children try to get others to conform, we call that "bullying" and punish them. When adults do it, it is called "politics", "diplomacy" or "gamesmanship" and we lionize those that are successful at it. Aren't we being hypocritical? Aren't we sending the wrong and mixed message to our kids? We (the adults) can bully anyone we want for whatever reason we want but you (the kids) cannot be bullies.

    • Zack McCauley
      May 13, 2015 at 2:35 pm

      If you think that ALL of humanity thinks in the mindset "It's our way or the highway" as you seem to point out, you might surprised. Just in America "bullying rates" have gone down drastically over the past couple years. They aren't trying to conform to anything, they are simply trying to teach the children not to be absolute a**holes to everyone else. I personally have seen what these " laws are themselves an example of bullying" change a district of schools for the better. In the school district (biased here) that I work for and live in, we have an Zero-Tolerance policy. Unlike some schools Zero-Tolerance policies, our students are not punished to the absolute extremes. Instead we pull both the victim and the bully into a closed session and they talk it out. Being just a tech guy, I can't sit in on these sessions. I will say that I have seen more sessions occur, where the two kids going in looking about ready to kill one another, and come out laughing and actually being friends. We have had to suspend people before due to repeat issues and the level of harassment going on.

      Personally, the only people I have met that are against the "anti-bully" laws were the high school a**holes that were bully's. If you don't want laws set in place so that children (most of which have yet to develop a mental state to handle this emotional, and mental, stress) can try and have a normal childhood at a school, or can have a safe environment to focus on school, I encourage you to seek some advice on your outlook.

    • Me
      May 13, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Yeah Dragonmouth obviously something is wrong with you if you do not agree with Zack and therefore you must need psychological help. The irony of Zack making such an implication on an anti-bullying article is very humorous.

    • Rob
      May 14, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      "When cliques of children try to get others to conform, we call that “bullying” and punish them."- I don't know what term you were trying to define there, but it certainly wasn't bullying.

      I think Zack covers the rest.

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