. Bullying | Middle Years Children | Manitoba Parent Zone

Middle Years Children - Behaviour


The effects of bullying can be devastating. Bullying can be verbal, physical, social, or emotional. According to the Government of Canada's Healthy Canadians website, bullying is often defined as "wilful, repeated aggressive behaviour that is used by a child to maintain power over another child." The result is "a victimized child caught in an abusive relationship." Bullying may include the following:

  • Unequal power – One child has more power than another child (or it seems this way to the children involved).
  • Hurtful actions – Physically or psychologically harmful behaviour takes place (such as name-calling, insults, threats, kicking, hitting, punching, and so on).
  • Direct or indirect actions – The abusive behaviour may be face-to-face or done behind a child's back (such as teasing, exclusion, gossiping and spreading rumours).
  • Repetitive behaviour – The hurtful actions keep happening, so the child being affected finds it increasingly difficult to escape.

In the middle years, bullying may also include ethnicity-based bullying or sexual harassment.

Talk to your child about ways he can deal with bullying: standing up for himself, telling the bully to stop, walking away, or speaking to a teacher, parent or counsellor. Remind your child that while it may be tempting, it is not a good idea to try to bully the bully. Two wrongs do not make a right.

It's also important to talk to your child about not being a bystander to bullying behaviour. Children should not sit back and watch while others are bullied. Tell your child to walk away, tell the bully to stop, stand up for the person being bullied or speak to an adult about what's going on.

If you think your child is being bullied, do not ignore the issue. Talk to your child about the problem and work together on a solution. Tell your child that she is not responsible for being bullied and that it isn't her fault. Tell your child why she is a great person and tell her you love her. It may also be a good idea to have your child speak to a counsellor or professional about her experiences.

If you believe your child is bullying others, speak to him about his behaviour, actions, and words. It is never okay to bully someone and it is not a normal childhood phase to be a bully. Try to remain calm and listen to your child. Ask her why she bullies and try to address these reasons. It might be a good idea to speak to a counsellor or professional.

Make sure your child is aware of cyber bullying and knows that she is responsible for what she says about others (even if it isn't said directly to the person) in text messages, emails, online or chatting. Make sure your child knows that cyber bullying is a form of harassment and that is not tolerated in school, at home or the workplace.

Picking on someone else to cause physical harm, humiliation or fear is a learned behaviour. Find out how to stop it.