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.