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Why Do Children Bully?

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Parenting, Child Development , Tags: adhd, angry, behaviour, bullying, inherent behaviour, learned behaviour, selfish, sibling

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There is obviously no single answer to the question of why children bully one another, but usually it comes down to being someone who is blind to the needs of others and overly sensitive to their own needs. Bullying is a type of behavior and with that in mind, it can be either inherent or learned. Inherent behavior is what a child is born with. Learned behavior is something that the child has learned from others.

If your child is a bully, you need to think about whether he or she is a born bully or has learned this behavior. It may be a mix of both.

Born Bully - A born bully starts bullying when he or she is a toddler. It can be only occasional and only mild bullying, but nonetheless, if there is evidence of bullying from an early age, and there is no apparent case of learned bullying from other sources, it can be concluded the bullying is inherent.   The solution is to seek guidance from a therapist, child psychologist or psychiatrist.

ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) manifests itself through impatient, impulsive, energetic and aggressive behaviour. This may take the form of bullying but is slightly different.

Learned Bully - A calm child may turn into a bully once he or she learns bullying from another source and copies.

  • Families with a tense or angry atmosphere, where family members are insensitive or aggressive may lead to children learning how to bully to get their own way.
  • Parents of bullies are often noted as being inconsistent with their discipline and punishments.
  • They are often unaware of their children's behaviour and tend not to monitor their children's behaviour.
  • Parent-child bonds are not close and getting angry over little things is commonplace.
  • The child learns this behavior and after a while becomes a bully even without realising it, because he has little to compare with the angry behaviour.

Non Permanent Bully

Some children bully occasionally: they may have recently suffered a trauma such as a death of a parent, a divorce, the birth of a new sibling or being under pressure.

Long Term Bullies: why do they do it?

  1. To be powerful or popular: bullies are generally bigger and stronger than their victims and they use intimidation to get what they want. They like the feeling of being powerful and think that violence is the only way to get their own way.
  2. Spoiled bullies: Some parents spoil their children and do not teach them the correct way to behave towards others. The children think they do what they like to get their own way even if it means bullying.
  3. Reaction to bad experiences: Some children are literally victims themselves whether it be of abuse or bullying at home, school or playground, and they take out their anger and humiliation on other children. So many people who are bullied as children go on to bully in later life.
  4. Unaware bully: Some bullies don't even know that their behavior is hurting others and how it makes others feel.
  5. Having Fun: Some bullies enjoy annoying other people, and hurting them, just for fun! They just like seeing others in distress or crying.


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