Bullying Behavior: Why Do Children Do It?

Bullying is never the answer. However, understanding why a bully behaves the way they do will help handle the situation in the right way. This will not only help the people being bullied but as well as the bully themself. Many bullies are unaware of why they act the way they do.

Children tend to behave inappropriately or aggressively due to many factors. Children struggle with many problems even at a young age. When kids are overwhelmed, lack attention, are neglected, go through trauma, or are under the influence of substances, this creates bullying. There are other situations where bullying can begin to play a role. For example, if a sibling or parent/guardian is showing signs of bullying or has aggressive characteristics, it can be influential. Many times, a parent may not handle their anger or conflicts well which can be a learned behavior. Typically, children bully due to these learned behaviors. Nonetheless, this implies that inappropriate behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with positive behaviors.

Children at school can begin bullying to be liked by others, have low self-esteem, not be ignored, jealousy, because they are bullied at home, or even if they do not want to not be bullied. They think if they have the upper hand then no one can bully them first. Often times, children bully to “protect themselves.”

Bullies usually use mean words and actions. They do not feel empathy for the people being bullied. Many bullies do not process that their actions are not right. They do these things to feel stronger, have more power, or feel smarter. They essentially do these things to protect themselves from any type of harm. People bully as a defense mechanism.

Although a bully may go through many struggles on their own, it is never alright to project and be mean to others. Instead, everyone should show acts of kindness and help the right way. Having positive behaviors, gentle words, and respectful conflict resolution at home and at school can help model appropriate behaviors.

4 thoughts on “Bullying Behavior: Why Do Children Do It?”

    1. Such a great article! It’s good to know the causes of this kind of behavior so we can work to fill those needs and shape new behaviors.

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