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Getting Picked On
If you're feeling like you have a sign pasted on you that reads: "MAKE FUN OF ME, PLEASE" then you're not alone. Check out these questions from kids who are dealing with some tough stuff. Read what our Mentors and experts have to say about each situation.

Advice Topics:

Advice Questions about Getting Picked On:

  • GOThere's this boy in my class who always calls me names like ‘Walrus’ or ‘Giant’ and a lot of other hurtful and mean stuff. I hate being in the same class as him, and I try to be as far away from him as possible. All my friends know about it and they always say, ‘Don't listen to him. Just ignore him.’ But every morning I wake up terrified to go to school because I'm afraid I'll be teased…I'm losing all my confidence, and I just want the name calling to stop.

  • GOThere's this girl at school who thinks she's the boss. Some kids even call her that! She thinks she owns everyone!!! For example, at lunch, she puts all her trash on my plate and expects ME to throw it away. And even worse, she's my next-door neighbor! Whenever I'm nice enough to let her come over, she takes advantage of my stuff and always tries to get me to buy her things online! How do I stand up to her? PLEASE HELP!

  • GOA lot of kids in my class call me weird. I know that I shouldn't take it to heart and that most of the time they are just joking. But when they say it over and over again. What should I do?

  • GOI am bullied all the time, I have ADHD and Asperger's syndrome, so it is impossible for me to ignore all the constant tapping and banging and foul language around me. A lot of people do this on purpose and when I try to tell an adult, they just say they can't help it. What do I do?

  • GOI am a vegetarian. All my friends make fun of me, like when they talk about restaurants they like, mostly it's ALL meat. They do that right in front of me when they know I can't eat meat. I know I can't get out of being a vegetarian and all, but how can I solve this?

  • GOI'm the nerd, freak, or weirdo...whatever you call me, I'm getting picked on at school. It's not really constant bullying, teasing is what it is. Kids make fun of the way I look, talk, who my friends are, and more. Even the little 6th graders make fun of me (I'm in 8th grade). When I try to tell people my problem, they tell me to suck it up, be a man for once, etc. I feel like I've lost almost all of my confidence and self-esteem. Please help!

  • GOThere is a boy at school who asks out a lot of girls just for the fun of it. I don't think this is funny, and it seems disrespectful to the girls he asks out for a joke. He asked me out once, and I politely turned him down, but now he's started a rumor that we're dating! I'm really upset about this because I don't like him at all and feel uncomfortable with people thinking this. My friends asked me a lot of questions about it and I made sure they knew the truth, but I don't know if anyone else is talking behind my back. I'm worried about what people will think about me and how to deal with this boy!

  • GOThere is this boy in my class that is so popular. All the girls in my class think he is so great and cute. I think he is a show off. He keeps calling me names like ‘rabbit girl’ and ‘beaver face’ because I have a bit of an overbite and it's really starting to bug me. Because he is so popular, a lot of the girls stand up for him so it's hard for me to stand up for myself. So far I haven't told anybody, not even my mom. I really need help because he is doing it all the time. Please help me!

  • GOI'm a black girl, and I go to an all-white school. I feel like nobody likes me because I'm black. I'm always getting rejected. How do I have confidence in myself?

  • GOI am in eighth grade this year (my last year of middle school) and I am getting picked on so much. I do ignore it and act like it doesn't get to me but it does so much. A group of girls always make fun of me, talk behind my back, and spreads vicious rumors. I asked them to stop, but then they started doing it even more. All of them were my friends but then they started hating on me because they thought I was ‘annoying’. Even my best friend I trusted so much betrayed me and backstabbed me and joined that group and started making fun of me. It hurts so much to see all of my old friends in a group making fun of me. I cry every day after school when I come home. I hate school and never look forward to it. I even considered being home schooled but my dad won't let me. And I know if I tell the principal they won't stop and they will tease me even more. Please help me! I am always depressed now and thanks to this situation, I have been getting bad grades lately.

  • GOI'm going to Middle School next year. Of course, I am quite excited! The only problem is, I'm accused of being 'emo.' I know when you're emo you hurt yourself and write sad stuff, poetry, stories, etc. Being really smart doesn't help either. I'm known for being the smart girl that likes to help people. But, whenever someone wants me to help, their friends accuse me of being emo. I love helping people! Do you have any advice? I really would like people to stop accusing me of something I don't even do!

  • GOI get picked on for being flat chested by this guy. I notice that almost all of the girls in my grade have bigger breasts than me. This guy also makes fun of me because I haven't got my period and stuff like that. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  • GOI have been having a horrible year this year! Almost all the kids in my class hate me! I have bad acne, glasses, and am very tall and skinny. So far, I have had taunts and insults ever day this year. I had my winter jacket stolen, one guy threatened to beat me up, and I got a note saying, "Go jump in a hole." My parents and teacher are really involved, and I've talked to my class about how hurt I feel. My family, teacher, and I have done every possible thing I can think of, but it's only getting worse. What do I do? I need to get some friends and some control in my life!

  • GOI'm in the 7th grade and I get bullied ALOT. The dean, counselor, and even the assistant principal are aware of it. They even switched my class! But in my new class I still get bullied! I talk to the counselor almost every day and nothing seems to work! I do the right things by ignoring them and not responding back. But it stills continues on and on. On top of that when I try to stick up for myself they just laugh and continue their nonsense. I really can't take it anymore, nowadays I dread going to school, I don't even look forward towards another day. What should I do? Please IML I really need your help!

  • GOI am the only girl in my class who wears a bra. When my friends see me in it, they start laughing and pointing. I laugh it off, but every day I feel more hurt. I love wearing a bra, and I don't want to get rid of it. What should I do?

  • GOA person has started a rumor about me that I wear a thong! I'm in 6th grade. Can you tell me what to do to help me stop this rumor?"

  • GOI go to an advanced class and for some strange reason, everyone picks on me! They call me names like " Pimple Face" because I always get one huge zit on my cheek and my chin. And I just got glasses and I am 100% certain that they're gonna call me 4-eyes. Even my best friend says things that are horrible about me. Some of the things they say are like telling me that I am weird, ugly, stupid, annoying, or that I dress badly. I am a huge tomboy so I wear football jerseys, baseball caps, basketball uniforms, baggy pants, big shirts, and my hair is always down and messy. I just want it to stop!!! I can't take it anymore! They tease me so bad, that I come home and cry for at least an hour! Please!!! Make it stop!!

  • GOMy best friend makes fun of me because I'm not as developed as the other girls in my grade. All of my closest friends give me a hard time about it. They will even say it in front of people I like. I have tried talking to them about it but they just deny they ever said it. Now everyone in middle school thinks of me as flat-chested. What should I do?

  • GOI am a big tomboy and everyone always picks on me. They think it doesn't bother me but it does sometimes. I just want curl into a ball and stay away from all of them. Even my friends pick on me about letting my pants hang down and wearing boxers and always wearing a hat backwards. I like the way I look but nobody else does. All the boys pick on me and call me bad names. They always put me down and mostly every day I feel like no one wants me to be around them, so I mostly always stay in. What should I do about everyone saying these things to me?

  • GOMy best friend and I are outcasts on our swim team. Everyone hates me because of what I like, and they hate my friend because she's from a different team. I cry a lot and my mom wants to tell their mom and I'll feel like a baby hiding behind a mom if she does. I used to enjoy it, but now it feels like a death sentence to go to practice. I really want them to stop being so mean but I'm really shy and don't know how to defend myself. Hope you can help, this is really important to me and my friend.

  • GO"I am being teased a lot because I listen to oldies like Barry Manilow. It's not my fault I grew to like it! Help!!!!!"

  • GOIn school people call me freckle face. I don't like it but I'm very shy and soon I'm getting braces, so then people will make fun of me more. I'm way too shy to stand up for myself. My friend stands up for me a lot but isn't always around when I need her most. What should I do?

  • GOThere's a girl in my class that everyone picks on, and I want it to stop. But when I stand up for her they make fun of me too! How can I make sure we both don't get picked on? We've tried everything! Some other girls even told a teacher but it didn't help!

  • GOI am a Christian. I go to church, and everything. But some of the people think I'm weird and stupid because I go to church. Should I stand up for myself? Or should I hang low?

  • GOI am in 6th grade. I play sports, and although I am not the best player, I got an award for best team spirit. There are some boys in my gym class that pick on me every day and call me names. My mom wants to get involved because she says she is worried about me. I play bassoon in band and am in advanced classes in school. The boys who pick on me really hurt my feelings by telling me I don't have any friends, which I don't have a lot of. Now, I don't want to play sports because they pick on me if I do but if I quit they will pick on me too. I love school but I dread gym class, that is where these boys mostly pick on me. What can I do to make them stop?

  • GOI'm having trouble with this kid. At my locker he is always jamming it, so I can't open it. Then if I get him angry, he will punch me and drop his books on me. I want to tell him how I feel, but he always says, Jenny you're such an idiot, why should I listen to you? and I get furious. I'm not the only one with this problem. What should I do to save myself and the class?

  • GOI am in the 8th grade and have a problem. There is a boy in my grade who is always touching me in places I am not comfortable with. Sometimes he pretends to be shaking my hand then touches my chest in a very weird way. The first time he did it, I thought he just missed or something, but he kept on doing it. I have asked him to stop countless times but he doesn't. Today he snapped my bra (which has become a habit of his). I have threatened to tell the school counselor but he continues to harass me. I don't want to get him in trouble because he was my best friend last year and we are still close. His mom is my mom's best friend since college and I don't want to ruin that. Please help me, IML.

  • GOI am 11 years old, and I get made fun of because I watch shows like Dragon Tales. I still play with dolls, wear bows in my hair, and try to dress and act nice. I love all the things like that, but other girls my age act like theyre older and dress sexy. Please help me in what to do about it. Thank you so much.

  • GOOther boys at school make fun of me because I mostly hang out with girls. They say Im not normal and I am getting tired of it! Help me please!

  • GOMy parents keep making me wear these dumb wrist guards when I go rollerblading. No one else is wearing any padding and I get laughed at. I can't change their minds. What should I do?

  • GO"I originally come from Canada, but am living in South Africa. I go to a South African school. It is okay, but the people mock my accent and don't take me seriously. What should I do to get them to accept me?"

  • GO"There is this boy I like and I haven't kissed him yet, but everyone is spreading rumors and saying that I did kiss him. Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • GO"I have a friend who is made fun of a lot. Since I play with her and sit by her, I get made fun of too. I can't tell the teacher. What should I do?"

  • GO"At school, sometimes people make fun of how big my lips are and how big my nose is. I hate it. What should I do if it happens again?"

  • GOAshley, Matt, and Phill want to know how to handle it when people make fun of them because they're overweight.


  • GO"I am in grade 5. I am the tallest kid in the class, and I am sort of one of the biggest kids in my class. All of the boys call me 'Bigfoot' and a lot of common names that other people may be called. They think that I have no feelings because I am so tall and big. What should I do?"


  • GO"I'm sick and tired of people making fun of my height. They call me 'Midget,' 'Shorty,' & they make fun of my weight, calling me 'Bones' + 'Skinny-Minny' & 'Anorexic.' What should I do?"

  • GOJulia and Lila need advice because boys are teasing them physically.

  • GO"I have been an American girl since 8 years old. I came from Vietnam. Now, when I was growing up and doing good in school, everyone teased me and my twin brother. They say I am Chinese and they try to say Chinese words, and now I feel bad about it. I need help!!!!!!! P.S. I am a fourth grader."

  • GO"Some kids at school make fun of me all of the time. I'm afraid that they'll make up some excuse to get me in trouble if I tell them how I feel. What should I do?"


Dear IML,
I'm the nerd, freak, or weirdo...whatever you call me, I'm getting picked on at school. It's not really constant bullying, teasing is what it is. Kids make fun of the way I look, talk, who my friends are, and more. Even the little 6th graders make fun of me (I'm in 8th grade). When I try to tell people my problem, they tell me to suck it up, be a man for once, etc. I feel like I've lost almost all of my confidence and self-esteem. Please help!
--Robby, 13

The IML Mentors respond:

Hey Robby!
I read your story and I felt like I was reading my middle school life story, because I was the exact same way back then. I'm still what you would call a “freak.” When I told my parents, they told me to change myself so I could stop being made fun of. As we all know, that isn't the best thing to do. When I told teachers, they also told me to man up even though I'm a girl. What I did was just pretend it didn't bug me. When people saw that it didn't bug me, they stopped. Now I know that's hard, but this is how you get it to not bug you. You keep yourself distracted. Always have your friends around you. Your friends can distract you from anything. If your friends can't be around you, think about something happy like a hobby you love. That will get you in a happy mood and you will end up blocking out the bullies in the end. If that doesn't work, tell the vice principal, guidance counselor, or even principal. When I stopped talking to my teachers and started talking to major people in the school that aren't just in charge of the kids but also in charge of the teachers, they tended to do a better job at helping me. Especially since bullying can be considered a major offense and could lead to legal action (which schools try their best to avoid). You could even consider making an anti-bullying club. Our school has one and it has made a major change in our school. The main thing is that school is supposed to be a safe place to go to and that's what the staff is supposed to be doing: is making you feel safe and not losing any of your self-esteem. You're a great individual and don't stop being you. The world would be boring without a few of us "freaks" in it. :D
--CinKay, IML Mentor

Robby,
First things first, you can't let these students get to you. You're only bullied if you allow yourself to be bullied. I'm not telling you to put up with it, or fight back, or any of that. I'm saying the truth: that eventually, it'll come to the point when you don't care about teasing anymore. But it's too early for that. Since this isn't physical bullying, I suggest you see your school guidance counselor or an adult who is actually willing to involve himself or herself in this situation. That's the most important thing. Until they can come up with a resolution, tell yourself every morning before school the things that you appreciate about yourself and that others might appreciate, too. For example, "I am willing to help people" or "I am charitable," etc. You have to believe yourself as you are saying this, and you have to realize that there ARE people out there who really do appreciate you even if you are a "nerd, freak, or weirdo." Try walking with better posture and don't drag your feet, and, if it makes you feel better, walk with your friends in the hallway. People tend to bully those who look weak and vulnerable; you need to radiate some confidence that will make them back away. And then maybe those 6th graders will finally respect their elders.
--Angelie, IML Mentor

Dear Robby,
I think the solution to your problem lies not in telling people, but exactly WHO it is you've been telling. Has it just been your friends or parents? (And by the way, if it was your parents, I'm sorry to hear that their solution is for you to "suck it up." That's not supportive at all.) The bullying -- because that's what it is, what you've described goes far beyond simple teasing -- is clearly hurting you, and "be a man for once" is not going to help. As far as I see it, you have two options: one is to confront the people who are saying these things to you, and the other is to go to a trusted adult, like a guidance counselor or teacher. Now, when I say "confront the bullies," I do NOT in any way mean that you should try to pick a fight with them. That never ends well, and it won't solve anything anyway. I mean that you could try just telling them that enough is enough and walking away. If you take that route, don't try to prolong things with them; just a simple "stop" and an about-face should do the job just fine. If it continues, or if you think it's not worth trying, I'd go to a teacher or counselor with your problems. You can turn to them for advice and guidance and, most importantly, a sympathetic ear. No matter what you do, though, keep one thing in mind: you're going to get past this. I'm glad to hear that you mentioned friends, because this means you're not alone (like a great many kids in your position). Stick with them, and keep them close to you. They'll provide a cushion and a source of relief. Hopefully by this time next year you'll be in high school and kids will have better things to do with their time than pick on somebody else. Keep looking ahead, okay? Good luck to you.
--Sarah, IML Mentor

Robby,
Please never ever call yourself a freak! Everyone is different and has something great about them. In regards to the people who bully you for who you and your friends are, try to ignore them. As long as you are happy with your friends it shouldn't matter what people think. They are probably just jealous that you can be yourself with your friends when they're always trying to look "tough" by bullying others. If the bullying gets out of hand you really should inform an adult. As you get older you start to realize that it matters less and less what other people think of you, just as long as you are happy with yourself and with your friends that's all that matters.
--Natalie, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
There is a boy at school who asks out a lot of girls just for the fun of it. I don't think this is funny, and it seems disrespectful to the girls he asks out for a joke. He asked me out once, and I politely turned him down, but now he's started a rumor that we're dating! I'm really upset about this because I don't like him at all and feel uncomfortable with people thinking this. My friends asked me a lot of questions about it and I made sure they knew the truth, but I don't know if anyone else is talking behind my back. I'm worried about what people will think about me and how to deal with this boy!
--Annemarie, 11

The IML Mentors respond:

Dear Annemarie,
The easiest way for you to deal with the situation is to just ignore him. Field your friends' questions honestly and then change the subject. The less you respond to him, the more he'll want to move on to the next girl. (As for her, I'd suggest that you give her the same advice I've just given you. The more girls don't respond to his behavior, the more likely he'll be to change it!) If he gets aggressive or is really damaging your reputation, tell an adult you trust. What he's doing is actually a form of bullying. He doesn't have the right to make you feel bad or make others think badly of you.
--Sarah, IML Mentor

Annemarie,
You are definitely NOT the first person to be the victim of a false rumor. Even celebrities and superstars face rumors every single day! I bet only a handful of them desperately spread around the truth and indulge in chocolate-chip-cookie-dough ice cream because they're so upset. But I know that the rest of them laugh, brush the article to the side, and continue to live their lives. They're in the spotlight and yet they're confident enough in themselves to just live on. If you ignore the rumor, you're not giving this boy the satisfaction of knowing he got to you (plus it sounds like a desperate attempt on his part to save face). People will eventually forget about this, anyway.
--Angelie, IML Mentor

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Dear IML,
There is this boy in my class that is so popular. All the girls in my class think he is so great and cute. I think he is a show off. He keeps calling me names like "rabbit girl" and "beaver face” because I have a bit of an overbite and it's really starting to bug me. Because he is so popular, a lot of the girls stand up for him so it's hard for me to stand up for myself. So far I haven't told anybody, not even my mom. I really need help because he is doing it all the time. Please help me!
--From Izzy, 10

An expert responds:

Hey Izzy!
Guys your age can be really mean sometimes, can't they? And girls sometimes like it when guys show off. Weird huh? Anyway, my advice to you would be to talk to some of your friends face to face and tell them how you feel. Ask them to help you stand up for yourself. There's power in numbers! Another option is to talk to your mom about it, and tell her how much it's upsetting you. She'll do everything she can to help you, I'm sure! Hope this helps.
--Nikola, IML Mentor

Hey Izzy!
I had the same problem when I was your age; I was "earthquake" because I was fat and they would say when I walked, the earth shook. The best thing you can do is tell someone. I tried to do what you did and that didn't work. You need to tell an adult, either a teacher or a parent or a principal. They will help you out. Adults have a way with children that makes them realize what they're doing and understand that it is wrong. If you tell an adult they will find a way to stop it. This is coming from a girl that has been in your shoes more than once. Tell an adult. That's the best way to go.
--CinKay, IML Mentor

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