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Bullying behaviour isn’t always obvious and can take different forms; emotional, physical, overt and covert.
Bullying is when someone repeatedly does something on purpose to hurt someone else. That can mean physically hitting or punching someone, spreading rumours or saying mean things about them, using put downs or name calling, and leaving them out or ignoring them. It can also mean sending them upsetting messages, comments, or pictures online or through text.
Being involved in bullying behaviour doesn’t just mean being the one who is directly hurting others. Bystanders are people who encourage bullying, or see it happen but do nothing about it, or feel too afraid to do anything to stop it.
If someone is bullying others, there might be things going on in their life that they are finding difficult to deal with and need more support with. As parents, caregivers or whānau, if you have been told that your child is bullying others, talk to them, and see how you can support them to change their bullying behaviour.
Bullying often happens out of sight and it may not be directly obvious. Someone who is bullying other people might:
It can be hard to find out that a young person you care about is bullying someone else, and you might not want to believe it at first. If you are family or whānau, here are some ways you could talk about it:
If you are just a friend of theirs or only know them from school, tell someone in charge about what you’ve seen. They can support the person to stop hurting others.
It takes a lot of courage to stand up and speak out about bullying. Here are some things you can do to help put an end to bullying behaviour:
Confidential Helpline: 0800 376 633
Youthline provides free phone, text, and email counselling support. Its website has great information for youth dealing with challenging situations including information about bullying.
Skylight offers a wide range of services to support those facing times of change, loss, trauma and grief. You can purchase resources about how to support young people with bullying behaviour
Pink Shirt Day is about working together to prevent or stop bullying by celebrating people’s differences and promoting positive relationships. Pink Shirt Day provides information and advice for those who have been the targets of bullying, and their friends and whānau.