Both children and adults are bullied. Let’s stop calling it different things.
When a child is called names in school, we call it bullying. When an adult is called names in the workplace, we call it harassment.
When a child is threatened in school, we call it bullying. When an adult is threatened we call it assault – and treat it as a real threat.
When a child is blackmailed in school, we call it bullying. When an adult is blackmailed, we call it blackmail, a crime for which people can go to jail.
When a child is hit by another kid in school, we call it bullying. When an adult is hit, we call it battery.
Notice the pattern? If it happens to a kid – we minimize the experience and the severity of the harm being caused by labeling what is happening as bullying. This is social, it’s normal and to be expected. When it happens to an adult, it’s serious, cause real harm and there are legal protections for adults who are victims of these crimes.
Yes, I said crime. Harassment is a crime in every state in America. Assault is a crime in every state in America. Battery is a crime in every state in America. Blackmail is a crime in every state. I could go on.
But when it happens to kids. It’s bullying. Really?!?!?
Parents, and kids: If you are being “bullied” please don’t use the term bullied. Be specific about what is happening to you. If someone is calling you names, say that. If someone is threatening you, say that. If someone is physically hurting you – say that.