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Types of Bullying and How to Spot Them

 Types of Bullying and How to Spot Them

These days, bullying is no longer limited to face-to-face interactions. With the explosion of social media, emailing, and texting, the opportunity for bullying has expanded and become sneakier than ever. In order to better help your child or teen handle this new age of bullying, you need to know the different types (and what they look like). Here are 5 unique types of bullying that you need to know about.

5 Types of Bullying All Parents Should Know About

Physical bullying

This is what many people envision when they hear the word bullying: a child or teen being physically attacked in some way. Some examples include punching, kicking, shoving, pinching, and other such attacks.

This type is often the easiest to identify if witnessed in the act. However, many bullies find ways to harass their victims in secret which is compounded by the fact that the victim is too frightened or too embarrassed to come forward, so keep this in mind.

Verbal bullying

Verbal bullies use abusive words, statements, and name-calling to gain power and control over their victim. They will use insults to belittle, demean, and hurt their victim. This type of bullying often occurs when adults aren’t around, so it can be very hard to spot.


Cyberbullying takes place over the internet or smartphone. In this case, the bully is using technology to embarrass, threaten, harass, or target another child or teen.

This bullying might take the form of threatening emails or texts, or embarrassing or demeaning photos posted about another child or teen. Because of this form of bullying, it’s especially important that parents become technologically savvy and able to discuss with their kids the dangers of being online and what to do about cyberbullying.

Sexual bullying

Sexual bullying consists of repeated, harmful, and humiliating actions that target a child or teen sexually. This could be sexually-charged name calling, inappropriate and uninvited touching, vulgar gestures, sexual propositioning, and pornographic materials. While boys are targets for this form of bullying, girls are the most common target by boys and by other girls. Calling another girl “slut”, for instance, is an example of sexual bullying that might not be immediately recognized for what it truly is.

Bias bullying

Bias bullying is often focused on prejudices tweens and teens have towards others of a different race, religion, or sexual orientation. While bias bullying can take the form of cyberbullying, verbal bullying, and physical bullying, the root of it is bias! Being singled out because of race, religion, and/or orientation. This type of bullying tends to be more severe and can open the door to hate crimes, so it’s important to report it immediately if you know it’s happening.

If your child or teen is a victim of bullying, there is help.

Unfortunately, no matter what type of bullying is occurring, if it’s happening to your child or teen, it’s no joke. If you have discovered that your child or teen is a victim of bullying, there are several resources for both you and your child. Don’t sit in silence and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

As a parent, you can help stop bullying by starting a dialogue and keeping it going. Let your teens know about the STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line for youths 13 - 24 years of age who are being bullied, cyberbullied or are at-risk for suicide. Remember, the most important thing you can do as a parent is listen and provide all the resources you can to help your teens with anything they might be dealing with.

When the HelpChat Line is NOT available and your teens are IN CRISIS please have them contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or the LGBT National Youth Talkline at 1-800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743).



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