. Bullying - Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba


Bullying is often thought of as a middle school issue but it is just as important in the teen years. The effects of bullying can be devastating. Bullying can be physical, emotional, verbal or electronic but all bullying is wrong and hurtful. 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 teen years, bullying may also include ethnicity-based bullying, sexual harassment or dating aggression.

Talking to your teen about ways to deal with bullying will help him to deal with a bully: standing up for yourself, telling the bully to stop, walking away, or speaking to a teacher, parent or counselor. Remind your teen 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 teen about being a bystander to bullying behaviour. Teens should not sit back and watch while others are bullied. Tell your teen 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 teen is being bullied, it's not a good idea to ignore the issue. You can talk to your teen about the problem and work together on a solution. Tell your teen that she is not responsible for being bullied and that it isn't her fault. Tell your teen why she is a great person and tell her you love her. It may also be a good idea to have your teen speak to a counselor or professional about her experiences.

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

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