Bullying is a serious issue and can cause serious psychological damage for the victim. But we tend to only hear the victim’s side. There are many reasons why children become bullies but it isn’t always a case of a child being mean or bold. If we can understand why a child is behaving in a certain way, we can teach them the skills they need to behave in a more acceptable manner. If not addressed, their behaviour can continue into adulthood. Children who bully are more likely to get involved in crime, drugs and alcohol as adults.
Here are a few reasons kids bully:
We've all heard the expression that "power corrupts", and this concept applies to children as well. A child might relish a sense of power over another, perhaps because they feel helpless at home where a parent is overbearing; maybe the child is being bullied themselves or they may simply like the feeling of power associated with pushing another kids around. When your peers fear you, they will always respect you, even if they hate you for it.
If a child comes from a less than warm and loving home, they are more likely to engage in bullying behaviour. If you’re not feeling love at home, you’re going to try to win some love and attention elsewhere. This child will discover that respect and popularity are earned by making fun of others. Their peers will quickly realise that to avoid attack they should pander to the bully and the bully is gratified by a percieved popularity, even though they may not realise that it is not love but fear. Also, children who experience inconsistent of lack of discipline at home are more likely to engage in bullying as well. They simply have never been given clear boundaries and don't know what is acceptable behaviour.
No one is telling them to stop
The victim of bullying often doen’t feel strong enough to stand up to their tormentor. But if responsible adults know or learn about a bullying situation and do nothing about it the bullying will thrive. The bully will learns that his actions have no consequences and the cycle will continue.
Encouragement from peers
Research shows that bullies often have large groups of friends and experience a feeling of support and encouragement from his peers, leading him to think his behaviour is acceptable. What is actually happening is that the social group are in fear of the bully and offer him positive reinforment to his as not to draw wrath.
Feelings of inadequacy
If a child is having trouble at home, is struggling in school or is experiencing other inadequecies in their life, they may try to diffuse these feelings by lashing out someone who they perceive to be weaker than themselves and thereby feel that that there is someone inferior to themselves.