True or False? (See below for answers.)
- Bullies get worse grades than average.
- Girls almost never bully.
- Girl bullies rarely use physical tactics.
- Looking different is the main reason kids get bullied.
- Most kids get bullied.
- The best way to deal with bullies is to ignore them. They’ll go after someone else.
- The best way to deal with bullies is to fight back.
- Bullies lack self-esteem and pick on others to build it up.
- Most parents know if their kids are being bullied.
- Kids are resilient and get over the effects of bullying.
- FALSE. This is a common myth. In fact, bullies tend to be at least average academically or only slightly below.
- FALSE. Boys bully more often than girls, but girls bully, too.
- FALSE. In the past, girls were thought to bully differently: boys by force, girls by social alienation or humiliation. In July 2005, however, the National Center for Education Statistics released a new analysis of 2001 survey data and found no measurable difference in bullying tactics between the sexes.
- FALSE. Looking different can provoke bullying, but more typical triggers are social isolation or weakness. Bullies almost always abuse a power difference.
- FALSE. Most kids do not get bullied. According to a 2001 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, only 17 percent of children in grades 6 through 10 have been bullied. However, in a 2010 Josephson Institute survey of high school students, nearly half reported that they had been bullied at least once in the past year.
- TRUE and FALSE. Some bullies go away, but others get angry and keep bullying until they get a reaction. That’s what they want.
- FALSE. If a child physically fights a bully, he may get hurt (or hurt someone else and get in trouble). And the bully might come after him again to get even. Either way, fighting back physically usually makes things worse. Assertion, rather than returned physical aggression, however, can be more effective.
- FALSE. This is another common myth. In fact, some bullies have high self-esteem. They feel good about themselves. They feel better by picking on others. Most of the time, bullying isn’t about high or low self-esteem. It’s about having power.
- FALSE. Bullying causes shame, and victims often feel too embarrassed to tell their parents or anyone else. They may feel it is their responsibility to stop the bullying. Parents should look for warning signs in their kids.
- FALSE. Bullied kids can suffer long-term effects such as a greater tendency to depression.
Any big surprises? Do you disagree with any of the answers?