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How to handle bullying

Are you vulnerable to things other kids say to you?
Judd and Jim fought back by talking with people they could trust.

I got teased about my weight," Judd says. "I was a big kid back then. I was called 'Tubbo.' When I came into school every day, I knew I was going to get teased. I wondered to myself, you know, what was it going to be today?

Jim's size - over 6'4" - made him a target, too. "If you're big, some kids might test you to see if you're as tough as you look," he says. "If you're not macho, they'll be like, 'What's your problem?' They'll really make fun of you, because you're not sticking up for yourself."

Judd would be on the playground and hear kids say mean things to him. "Hey I'll race ya. I bet ya I'll beat you by a mile," he says. "Another guy might pop in and say, 'I bet he'll faint before he gets to the finish line.' "

Many kids withdraw when they are bullied.

Jim raced home from school every day. And he cried. "It really hurt me," Jim says. "I was this big kid, but I was very sensitive."

Judd withdrew, too. "I would just come home," he says, "go straight to my room and just sit there thinking, 'What am I doing wrong here? Why are they teasing me so badly?'"

Lucky for Judd, his dad reached out to offer help. His dad also had been teased as a kid. His experience gave him perspective he could share. "People teasing you just want to get higher on the social ladder," he told Judd. "They're bullying to try to build themselves up."

His dad's words gave Judd a boost. He considered that his dad might be right. Still more important was their talks. "Knowing that my dad was going waiting for me and willing to talk, I was able to - not ignore the teasing - but not believe the teasing." It took a while but eventually, the bullies ignored Judd.

That plan makes sense to Jim who eventually opened up to his mom. "It's better to talk with someone you know is going to give you the right advice," he says. "If you keep it all inside, you're eventually going to blow. That's the way I was feeling."

Even guys who seem to have it all sometimes need to talk. "You need to find a special person you can sit down and talk to," Jim says. "The motto I would give a kid in my situation is that there's a light at the end of the tunnel."

Are you vulnerable to things other kids say to you?



Judd's Dad

It's A Fact.
One in seven children, both male and female, is either a bully or a victim of bullying. 1

Approximately 15 percent of students are either bullied regularly or are initiators of bullying behavior. 2

Boys are more likely than girls to participate in bullying behavior and to be victims of bullies. 3

Students who participate in bullying behaviors seem to have a need to feel powerful and in control. 2

Children who experience persistent bullying may become depressed or fearful. They may even lose interest in school.3

Dealing With It.
No one has a right to treat another person with disrespect. Talk with an adult you trust if you or someone you know is being bullied.

People who bully others often do it to make themselves feel more important. This can help you see the bully as insecure and weak rather than powerful.

Here are ways you can respond to a bully: "I am not listening to you." Or, "What's your point?" Or, "I don't care what you think about me."

A person with real strength is a person who feels good about himself or herself. They treat others with respect.

Hear more from Jim and Judd in Boys on Bullying DVD

1. National Association of School Psychologists
2. Bullying in School
3. School Psychology Review