Bullying - Characteristics of Children Who Bully
- May witness physical and verbal violence or
aggression at home. They have a positive view of this behavior, and they act
aggressively toward other people, including adults.
- May hit or
push other children.
- Are often physically strong.
or may not be popular with other children around their same age.
- Have trouble following rules.
- Show little concern for
the feelings of others.
Many bullies think highly of themselves. They like being
looked up to. And they often expect everyone to behave according to their
wishes. Children who bully are often not taught to think about how their
actions make other people feel.
Children who bully are at risk for failing in school, dropping out of school, and getting involved with crime and fights later in life.1, 2 They also are more likely to use drugs more than children who
Some children both bully
others and are bullied. They may have been bullied and then lash out at others.
Children who are both bullies and victims use alcohol and/or carry a weapon
more than children not affected by bullying.3
Bullying behavior is a "red flag" that a child has not learned to control
his or her aggression. A child who bullies needs
counseling to learn healthy ways to interact with
people. Professional counseling can guide a child through discovering why
bullying is hurtful. Through this process, a
counselor can encourage a child to develop empathy,
which means being sensitive to and understanding the feelings of others. In some
cases, follow-up counseling may involve the parent. Family counseling has been
shown to help reduce anger and improve interpersonal relationships in boys who bully.4