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“Why Do People Bully?” Is the Question Every Parent Whose Child is Suffering from School Bullying is Asking


VICTORIA, Australia March, 2014 – Recent research commissioned by the Australian Federal Government found that one in four students will feel the effects of bullying, and sadly, according to the Centre for Adolescent Health, children who are bullied are three times more likely to show depressive symptoms such as withdrawing, not wanting to go out, reduced school performance, lack of concentration and lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyable activities. say that some studies even show children who are bullied are up to nine times more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

Any parents who hear those sorts of statistics and know that their children are currently, or have suffered, from school bullying will be left wondering, “Why do people bully?” and more importantly, “If my child is being bullied, how can I help?”

Heather Yelland, a psychologist and leader in educational reform for teenagers in Australia, says that while she understands parents are left with many questions they cannot answer when their child has become a victim, it’s important to ask the right questions. Heather suggests parents start asking questions such as:

  • “What can I do at home to ensure my children know they are loved?”
  •  “What strategies can I introduce my children to in order to help them cope with any potential school bullying?”
  • “How can I improve communication around the home so that my children don’t feel alone?”
  • “How can I increase the confidence of my children so they’re less likely to be a target?”

The fact, Heather says, is that parents of bullying victims can do very little to change the behaviour of the bullies. But remarkably when the behaviour of the victims changes – so does the behaviour of their bullies.

“When bullies select their victims, they look for factors such as lack of confidence, uneasiness and nervousness, someone who won’t stand up for themself, someone who will react to their bullying tactics…usually they’re looking to inflict pain on others and that means they’re looking for someone who will show that pain,” says Heather Yelland, who runs school holidays programs in Victoria that have had consistent success in helping children to stop being victims of bullying.

“Usually when teenagers are confident, aware of their ‘flaws’ and still accepting of who they are, able to build connections easily, and have a range of communication techniques up their sleeve; these children are able to stop the bullying and in some cases even reach out to the bullies and build a friendship, stopping them from choosing other victims.”

Louise Quinn sent her son Nathan to Green SuperCamp® Australia,, the camp that Heather runs for young people aged 11 – 17 at various times each year, because Nathan was not only suffering from school bullying, but he was bullying himself for it. “Nathan wanted to be in the ‘in’ group and every part of everyday was consumed with how he should behave in the cool group,” said Louise.

After attending Green SuperCamp® Australia, Nathan’s life has changed. “The SuperCamp® facilitators taught me that...everyone likes you for who you are – the good and the bad – and the funny, quirky things are what make people remember you,” says Nathan, who was painfully shy when he attended his first Green SuperCamp®, but has now been back to camp several times, and was even invited to open the camp in front of over 70 people with a detailed, heartfelt and funny speech in January last year. “Now I know I am good enough and thankfully most people like me for who I am. If you knew what the other person was going through and possibly why they were like that, and they knew you were like that, then you would all just get along,” explains Nathan.

Green SuperCamp® Australia is the world’s number one academic acceleration camp, and children who attend routinely increase their reading speed by an average of 156%, but it is the way all of the children get along without any form of social isolation, the way they build lasting friendships in 7-10 days, the way they step up and learn new leadership skills, the way they learn to accept and love themselves that makes parents proud. It is the hundreds of success stories that makes Heather so proud, and has parents all over Australia wondering, “How can I get my children into Green SuperCamp® Australia and stop the effects of bullying right now?” Visit for more information.


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 Why people bully

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