There are many misconceptions that characterize bullying, all of which can lead to minimizing the behavior. Here are a few of these common misconceptions.

MYTH: Bullying is a natural part of childhood

FACT: There is nothing natural about being bullied. Physical or emotional aggression toward others should not be tolerated as a normal part of childhood.

MYTH: Telling a teacher about bullying is tattling

FACT: Tattling is done to get someone in trouble, telling is done to protect someone. The secrecy of bullying only serves to protect the bully

MYTH: Words can’t hurt you

FACT: Even though words don’t leave bruises or broken bones, studies have shown they can leave deep emotional scars with lifelong implications.

MYTH: Bullying is easy to recognize

FACT: Covert bullying, such as shunning, alienating, and leaving others out on purpose is often much harder to detect than physical bullying.

MYTH: Bullying will make kids tougher

FACT: Research has shown it often has the opposite effect and lowers a child’s self-esteem and self-worth. Bullying often creates fear and increases anxiety.

MYTH: It’s only teasing

FACT: When teasing does not hurt a child, it isn’t considered bullying. Teasing becomes bullying when the intent of the action is to hurt or harm.