Common Causes of Bullying

Understanding the causes of bullying is the first steop in addressing the growing problem of bullying in our neighborhoods and schools. By understanding why bullying happens, we can help keep our kids from becoming victims and ensure that our own children do not become bullies themselves.

Bullying Starts at Home
Children who lack adult supervision or who are abused at home are more likely to become bullies. Bullies often come from homes that lack warm, affectionate parental relationships. Kids are also more likely to bully when they have parents who are too lax with discipline. Children who do not experience consequences for their negative behavior are likely to continue that behavior.

The Bully Personality
There are certain personality traits that appear to be common among bullies. Bullies tend to be naturally aggressive, impulsive and dominating. This is does not mean that if your child has these traits he will be a bully, but it does mean that parents need to be aware of any other risk factors that may be present. When raised in a positive home environment, children with these traits can learn empathy and compassion, which puts them at a lower risk for bullying. Even if you have a good home environment, you should talk to your child and her teachers if you suspect your child is bullying kids at school.

There are also certain traits that make a child more likely to become the victim of bullying. Kids who are shy, withdrawn and socially awkward, or those who are different from their peers tend to be easy targets for child bullying. Many victims of bullying are too embarrassed or ashamed to report the incident, which only gives the bully more power over the victim. If you suspect that another child is bullying your child, it is important to teach her that no one deserves to be treated that way. Don't leave her to fend for herself or let her feelings of shame stop the conversation. If she feels she is being bullied, she needs the confidence to report the problem to you or her teacher. 

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