Children don’t become bullies because they are innately bad. Bullying stems from stimuli in the home, such as being bullied by a parent, or the parent is being abused or treated in a disrespectful manner. A child is likely to imitate or mirror the behavior they learn at home in school, because they think it is acceptable.
Children sometimes become bullies because they feel powerless at home. They may be the target of abuse by a parent and are constantly afraid. When they get to school they can attempt to augment their fear by trying to regain a sense of power and control through bullying.
When a child feels unseen, and consequently unloved by his or her parents, they get the message they are unimportant. Children need love and respect from their parents. When love is not forthcoming their feeling of invisibility can turn to anger and resentment, which causes them, in turn, to bullying at school.
There is also the scenario of children who are given too much power at home. Their parents don’t set boundaries or rules, nor do they discipline the child with appropriate consequences. They grow up and they feel entitled, self righteous and powerful. Since their parents didn’t put any limitations on them, these children may believe they have a right to bully others at school.
Some children may simply lack empathy. They are raised in loving homes and their parents are actively involved with their well being. These children may enjoy being the big shot, dominate other kids, and seek power over them. Children like this are at an advantage because empathy can be taught, whereas the child’s ability to fix their dysfunctional home is not attainable.
When guidance, care and learning social and coping skills is available to the child, bullying can be addressed. If the child falls through the cracks, not only by the parents lack of involvement, but the school net for kids at risk, there is a likely potential for problems later in life. Their problems can range from relationship to general parenting, and potentially issues with the law.
If you think you are, or were, a bully, it is best not to beat yourself up. Psychological help is readily available. Just like turning an addiction into a positive turn for your life in recovery, bullying behaviors can be remedied with love, care, self knowledge and therapy.
“Go empower yourself. You need confidence because the one thing that bullying does is it belittles you, and it takes away your confidence, and nobody deserves that.”— Bill Goldberg
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