Taking Bullying Seriously

The following exercise will help you compare the perspectives of adults and young people about the seriousness of various forms of bullying, as described in Steps 1 and 2 of Module 4.

First: Browse the following list describing different ways that young people can be bullied. Click here to access the list.

Second: As you peruse the list, reflect upon how severe you believe the impact of each form of bullying on the list to be. On a piece of paper, jot down the number of each form of bullying on the list in order of the severity of their impact, according to your perception, placing the form of bullying with the least severe impact at the beginning of your list.

Third: Invite your child or children to sit down with you to talk about the list. Show them the list and ask them to do the same exercise, listing the numbers of each form of bullying on the list in order of the severity of their impact, according to their perception.

Fourth: Show your list to your child or children. Compare the differences between your own perception of the impacts of bullying behaviours and your child’s or children’s. You can take this opportunity to find out more about your child or children’s perceptions of bullying by inviting them to share their thoughts and opinions.


  • Let children and teens use their own words. Resist the temptation to correct their grammar, syntax, style and spelling errors.
  • Ask them why, according to them, it is important to talk about bullying.
  • Allow them to discuss the issue in general. It is likely that the subject of bullying will spark a lot of discussion.
  • Begin the discussion by inviting the child or teen to share their ideas, rather than offering your own definition or that of another person.