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What Is Bullying?

Bullying is when someone deliberately and repeatedly upsets, frightens, threatens or hurts someone else or their property, reputation or friendships.

Bullying can be:

  • Teasing, saying mean things, threatening someone or calling someone names
  • Deliberately ignoring someone or leaving them out of games or activities, and/or encouraging others to do this
  • Playing nasty jokes or spreading rumors
  • Pushing, tripping or hitting someone
  • Taking or damaging their things or asking for money
  • Using social media and email to threaten someone or to attempt to destroy their reputation

Bullying Can Occur Anywhere

Bullying takes place during the school day and after school hours. It can happen anywhere. Bullying happens most often in areas where there is little or no adult supervision.

There are many reasons why kids keep quiet about bullying. Bullying is embarrassing and painful for kids. Kids often worry that telling someone will only make the situation worse. In some cases, this may be true. Retaliation is a high risk when it comes to bullying. If you suspect that your child may be the target of bullying, act quickly.

Know the Signs of Bullying

  • Unexplainable injuries
  • Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics or jewelry
  • Frequent headaches or stomach aches,feeling sick or faking illness
  • Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of helplessness or low self-esteem
  • Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves or talking about suicide

Having regular conversations with your child can help you identify signs of bullying. Ask them if they have been bullied or if they have witnessed bullying taking place in their school. Discuss what they should do if they see someone being bullied.

We Can Help

Horizon offers a variety of organizations in our network, as well as virtual providers that support kids' mental health. If you suspect your child is being bullied, contact a mental health counselor to evaluate your child's state of mind — even if they tell you they don't need it. Horizon Behavioral Health is here to help. Day or night, call 1-800-626-2212.