Is it bullying or is it nasty, mean or rude?

Sometimes we label childrens’ behaviours towards others as bullying, when in fact it isn’t. Nasty, mean or rude behaviour is awful but it is not bullying. Nasty, mean or rude behaviour is something that we all need to learn how to deal with unfortunately, because it is a part of life and human behaviour. And yes, it will happen in Primary School, so developing resilience in our children to help them ‘shake off’ others’ poor behaviour choices, is very important. All too often students are devastated because someone was mean to them once, or didn’t share or played with someone else. When we label these behaviours as bullying, we actually prolong the resolution of it and the opportunity for our kids to bounce back quickly. I’m not saying that they’re not allowed to be sad or distressed, I’m saying that it is very important to keep it in perspective and not catastrophize it. These are life lessons that need to be talked about and grown through, so that your little poppet’s confidence and resilience blossoms.

Bullying however, is a specific behaviour that is learned and needs to be addressed and dealt with differently.

Bullying is:

  • Repeated (which is why it is so damaging).

  • Power imbalanced (which is why it is so scary).

  • Intentional/targeted (which is why it is so concerning).

Bullying can be overt or covert and given that 53% of young Australians experience cyberbullying, it is definitely an issue that we will be discussing.

For more information on Stymie and the important services they provide, please visit


A Guide for parents on how to deal with bullying


The healthy way to canteen