Name Calling vs. Bullying

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There are many types of bullying from name calling vs bullying. The lines are sometimes blurred when it starts with simple name calling and persists into full fledged bullying. In this name calling verses bullying article, we look at the difference between bullying and name calling.

Just about every person has found themselves the victim of name calling at least one once at some point or another in their lives, sometimes this is done out of jest and sometimes it is done in a deliberate move to be mean to another person. At what point does name calling get taken too far and become bullying? Keep reading to find out more about the different types of bullying and how to determine if your child is being bullied.

Types of bullying: 

Bullying comes in many forms especially when it comes to teens and children who face bullies on a regular basis. They often have to deal with bullying in school, outside of school, online, and in various forms like name calling, verbal abuse and even physical bullying. With verbal bullying, it may start out simply as name calling, but the bullying comes full fledged into play when the name calling is persistent, extends into verbal abuse and takes on the form of slander, libel and rumors. One of the ways verbal abuse becomes the most common is through cyberbullying. Many teens will use the Internet as a way to hide behind the words they say against other teens. They may start out with just name calling, but that quickly develops into spreading false rumors and lies about the person. They also make embarrassing claims against their victim. Many teens find that they can be more bold in what they say against their peers online because they can hide behind the front of a screen name. This is a prime example of how name calling vs bullying can at some points be the same thing. There is definitely a fine line between name calling and bullying.

Name calling vs. bullying: 

Name calling often occurs in jokes. Kids and adults alike may tease one another by making up silly nicknames for each other or call each other names almost out of friendship or affection. However, name calling can quickly get taken too far and be pushed into the bullying category. This typically happens when a few things take place. If the person you are calling names begins to take offense and demonstrates hurt or asks the person to stop, but the person does not stop, this gets taken to the new level of bullying. This can happen anywhere. It can happen on the playground, in a school classroom, in the hallways at school, after school, online and even happen to adults in the form of workplace bullying. When name calling gets taken to this new level, it is not okay. Name calling may also occur online. When this happens, unless you know the person who said it is joking, the intent is malicious. When name calling is meant with malicious intent, it is always considered bullying.

Symptoms of name calling and bullying: 

If you believe your teen or child might be a victim of name calling or bullying, watch out for these signs:

  • Comes  home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
  • Has change in eating habits
  • Makes excuses not to go to school
  • Has fewer friends
  • Feels helpless
  • Talks about suicide
  • Acts out of character
  • Avoids certain places or playing outside alone
  • Feels like they are not good enough
  • Has trouble sleeping
  • Blames themselves for their problems

Resolving name calling and bullying:

When it comes to name calling, many teens or children may not understand that name calling is also a form of bullying. They might start out by joking, but calling someone a name with the intent of hurting them is not okay. Be sure your child understands calling someone a name, even if they feel the person deserves it, is not okay and is a form of bullying. Even if the child or teen is saying the name calling behind the back of their peer, it is still something that might get to that other teen or child. It is not okay even if the other teen or child started the name calling. Be sure to talk to your child about the rules of name calling. If your child has problems with name calling, be sure to talk to them or talk to the school administration and teachers to help mediate the problem. In many situations with name calling, there has probably been some sort of fight or misunderstanding between the children or teens that needs to be sorted out. However, name calling will only make the situation worse. It is best to talk out the situation among the teachers, or the other child’s parent with the children involved to help resolve the situation. If bullying problems persist, be sure to inform the school administration of the problem and seek their assistance in resolving the matter.

Sources: mychildsafety.net, stopbullying.gov/

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