Understanding how and why a bully uses aggressive behavior is key to knowing how to handle the situation. A common reason that a kid is a bully is because he/she lacks attention from a parent at home and lashes out at others for attention. This can include neglected children, children of divorced parents, or children with parents under the regular influence of drugs/alcohol. Older siblings can also be the cause of the problem. If theyвve been bullied, they are more apt to bully a younger sibling to feel more secure or empower themselves. And we cannot rule out the fact that an adult role model is a bully. This can include parents, teachers, coaches, etc
Very often parents are bullies, are angry, or don\’t handle conflict well. Kids usually bully because they learn this behavior at home. It is learned behavior which can be unlearned. Some kids are just more aggressive, dominating and impulsive by nature. It doesn\’t always mean that they are bullies. Bullies dominate, blame and use others. They lack empathy and foresight and have contempt for the weak.
They see weaker kids as their target. , and don\’t accept the consequences of their actions. They crave power and attention. Hyperactive bullies don\’t understand how to socialize and acts inappropriately and sometomes physically. Most bullies donвt understand how wrong their behavior is and how it makes the person being bullied feel. No matter what kind of bully someone is, they have not learned kindness, compassion and respect. Bullies don\’t need a reason to hurt others. When asked, some replied: Because it makes me feel stronger, smarter, or better than the person I\’m bullying Whatever the reason, bullying is not cool. It\’s mean! Whether we\’ve done it ourselves, or we know others who are doing it. it is important for us to understand that bullying is serious and has harmful effects on the lives of our youth. Maybe it\’s not happening to you. but it could. It\’s late morning on a weekday when you receive a call from your child\’s school principal. She tells you there has been an incident involving your child, and asks you to come in for a conference to speak with her, as well as your child\’s teacher and the school counselor.
You race to the school, a million scenarios flashing through your brain. Is your child hurt? Was your child bullied? Then you arrive at the school to learn that your child was involved with the one scenario you never imagined in your head as a parent: your child, it turns out, has been bullying other children at school. Your child is the bully. You didn\’t see it coming. What should you do? What causes a child to become the bully? While there is no one single profile of a child bully, in my years as a researcher and educator, I have witnessed a few different situations that describe the majority of child bullies: 1. Like Parent, Like Child Children model what they see. If a child is bullied by his/her parent, or is being abused or treated in a disrespectful way at home, that child is likely to imitate this behavior at school. They are learning from their parent that this type of behavior is acceptable. 2. The Powerless Child Sometimes, the child that bullies is the child who feels completely powerless at home.
Perhaps this child is abused, or watches one of his parents abuse another parent and he/she is left feeling scared and powerless at home. This child may attempt to gain back power by bullying others at school. 3. The Forgotten Child I have seen children who feel invisible at home act out as bullies at school. Children need constant love and respectful attention from the adults who care for them — and they want and need it most from their mother and father. Nobody is more important than mom and dad; children will try to gain approval from mom and dad, from the time they are born until the time they die. If they do not get love and attention at home, they may feel voiceless and un-important. That feeling of invisibility may turn into anger, resentment and then bullying others at school. 4. The Entitled Child Then there is the child who has been given too much power. I have seen children who are given everything they want, raised without limitations and rules to follow, who then grow up to feel entitled and all-powerful.
These children may believe they have a right to bully others at school, since they bulldoze their parents at home. 5. Children Who Lack Empathy Finally, there are those children who come from wonderful, loving homes with actively involved parents who become bullies. These child bullies may simply lack empathy, like to dominate, are possessive and want power. The wonderful thing about this is that empathy is something that can be taught. Children Who Bully Are Still Children It is important to remember that children who bully are still children. They are acting that way for a reason, and they, too, need help and guidance from adults. In my experience, bullies may not have healthy social behaviors, empathy, or coping skills. This has the potential to lead to a lifetime of relationship problems, general parenting problems, and even problems with the law. In my next blog post, I will outline some ways that parents, teachers, and counselors can help children who bully.