There is a difference between peer conflict and bullying. I believe that it’s important for both kids and adults to understand what the difference is because peer conflict (or conflict amongst friends) is much less serious than bullying. However, bullying is a word that is overused too often and is used to represent situations which are many times not bullying.
It’s important that we use the word bullying when it is actually happening so that we can stop it and help those who are being bullied.
The differences are laid out below:
However, I’ve come up with an even simpler way to distinguish between peer conflict and bullying:
If they are your friends, it’s not bullying. If it’s bullying, they are not your friends.
Let’s stop being the boy who called wolf and realize that bullying can be a powerful word and will help those who need help to get it – but only if we use it in the right circumstances.