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Why Do Kids Bully?

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 they’ve 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.

  • Bullied bullies get relief from feeling helpless and overpower others
  • Social bullies have poor self-esteem and manipulate others through gossip and being mean
  • Detached bullies plan their attacks and always likeable to everyone but their victims
  • Hyperactive bullies don't understand how to socialize and acts inappropriately and sometomes physically.

Most bullies don’t 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
  • Because I'm bullied at home
  • Because it's what you do if you want to hang out with the right crowd
  • Because I see others doing it
  • Because I'm jealous of the other person
  • Because it's one of the best ways to keep others from bullying me

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.