November 15-19 is Anti-Bullying Awareness Week. Bullying has negative effects on many children, including kids who witness bullying, those being bullied, and even the bullies themselves. Kids who witness bullying are more likely to experience anxiety and depression. The conflict of not knowing how to intervene, support the student being bullied, and fear of retaliation from the bully also causes an increased level of stress for those experiencing bullying.

Children who are being bullied are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They are also more likely to be lonely and not want to go to school. Bullying also has long-lasting effects. Childhood is a pivotal point in everyone’s life because it is when they are finding their identities, personalities, learning how to trust others, developing self-esteem, and managing emotions. Bullying can disrupt all of these things and make it harder for victims of childhood bullying to develop long-lasting relationships, be self-confident, and know who they are as adults.

Children who bully others are at a higher risk of anti-social behaviors, substance abuse, and aggressive behavior. It is important to also understand that bullying is a learned behavior. Many kids who are bullies are being neglected at home, have divorced parents, or have parents who are regularly under the influence. These kids often bully because they are lashing out for attention or because they are being bullied by people at home including older siblings, parents, and other family members. Some bullies don’t even recognize that what they are doing is wrong or that it is hurting other people’s feelings. For them, it is the normal behavior they see from people who are supposed to be their role models, or it gives them a sense of control.

It is important for adults who witness bullying to intervene and respond quickly. This includes parents, school staff, and other adults in the community. Please use the resources below to learn more about bullying and what you can do to prevent it.