The Bully

The bully finds satisfaction by inflicting physical and psychological abuse on his victims. Bullies target vulnerable children, those whom they believe won’t fight back. 

Bullies often have unstable home lives where they themselves are the recipients of bullying. Peer rejection, emotional insecurity and academic difficulties cause them to vent their anger and frustration onto others.

For more specific information on bullying go to — 

Bullying Facts
What is bullying?
School Bullying
Effects of Bullying
Stop Bullying

The Bully May:

(from a study conducted by The Center for Adolescent Studies at Indiana University) 

1. misbehave frequently at home. 
2. spend little quality time with adults at home. 
3. face forceful parental discipline at home. 
4. lack many positive adult role models where constructive communication, persuasion and negotiation skills can be learned.
5. gravitate to peers who are also dominating others by fear and coercion. 
6. fight more that other kids.
7. torment others as a way of dealing with a difficult home life, a divorce or a single parent stretched with live challenges. 
8. believe this is normal behavior because their home role models show disrespect. Bullies mimic what they observe. 
9. fail to develop the self-restraint to control aggressive behavior in early childhood. 
10. have had inadequate supervision and appropriate consequences for aggressive behavior while maturing. 
11. rarely feel responsible for his behavior. 
12. suffer from personality disorders. 
13. be influenced by media violence. 

The bully and his motives vary. Some are defiant, impulsive, and needing power. Others, unaware of appropriate behavior are attempting to connect with others.

With support from parents and the school, the bully can learn the positive behaviors of cooperation and respect for others. 

For help with child self esteem go to Child Self Esteem and Building Child Self Esteem  

If Your Child is the Bully

  • Observe your interaction with your child. Are you positive and supportive? Do you set appropriate consequences for bad behavior? 
  • Observe the language you use. Avoid negative critical comments such as, "You're so lazy.” Find constructive ways to help your child cooperate.

  • Be aware of how your other children are treating your child. If they are taunting and teasing him, stop this behavior.
  • Make sure your home is a safe haven for your child. Let your child know that he is loved and supported.

How to Encourage the Bully in Your House to Change

  • Let your child know that bullying is a serious problem. 
  • Set consequences for negative behavior at home and follow them. Be consistent. Allow earning the privilege back for good behavior. 
  • Try to align the consequence with the behavior so your child can see the relationship. For mean behavior, you can go with your child to a senior’s home and sign up for volunteering, for example.

  • Teach your child to treat people who are different with respect and kindness. These could be differences in race, religion, appearance, ability, gender, economic status, sexual orientation. 
  • Show your child how to embrace differences. Help your child to understand that like him, everyone has feelings.

  • Find out if your child's friends are also bullying. If so, meet with the school principal, counselor, and teachers.
  • Set limits. Stop aggressive behavior immediately. Help your child find non-violent ways to react to challenging situations.

  • Observe your child interacting with others. Praise appropriate behaviour. Positive reinforcement is more powerful than negative discipline.

  • Maintain frequent contact with school staff on the issue.

  • Set realistic goals. Understand the change will take time. Be patient. As your child modifies his behavior, assurance him that you love him. Let him know it’s the behavior you dislike.

  • Consult your family doctor if you believe your child might suffer from a disorder. Your child could benefit from seeing a mental health professional.
  • Ask the school principal for a copy of the school bullying policies. Find out how they are implemented and check on the consequences. Find out how bullies are disciplined and determine staff supervision of stairwells, halls and courtyards. 
  • Voice your concerns to teachers, fellow parents, bus drivers, counselors, the school Board, and the parent-teacher association. 
  • If your child's school doesn't already have one, start an antiviolence program. If the environment at your child's school supports bullying, working to change it may help.

Being the bully is not fun. With yours, the school and the communities help, you will have success in changing your child’s behavior and your whole family will benefit. 

Go from The Bully to Bullying 

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