The first step to stop bullying is to understand what it is.
An action could be considered bullying, depending on what happened, how often it happens and who it happens to.
The federal government has defined bullying as "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."
Verbal bullying includes: teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting and threatening to cause harm.
Social bullying includes: leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors, or embarrassing someone in public.
Physical bullying includes: Hitting/kicking/pinching, spitting, tripping/pushing, taking or breaking someone's things, making mean or rude hand gestures.
While a significant amount of bullying happens in school, it can also happen on the playground, neighborhood or school bus. More often, bullying is moving to the social media and text messaging. This type of bullying is known as cyberbullying.
Bullying can first appear in children as young as three-year-old as children begin their first interactions with each other. It is important to understand that young children can be aggressive and act out when they don't get what they want, this isn't considered bullying. But parents should use these opportunities to teach conflict resolution and how to get along with others. [Helping children get along with others]
Behavior most commonly considered bullying develops in school-aged children and young adults. Behaviors considered bullying are considered crimes in most states and offenders could face serious penalties. There are some actions similar to bullying, such as hazing, stalking and harassment, that are consider crimes under state or federal laws.
Source material: www.stopbullying.gov