Why Do Bullies Mistreat Others?

What is Bullying?

According to Google:

use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force him or her to do what one wants.

“a local man was bullied into helping them”

synonyms: persecute, oppress, tyrannize, browbeat, harass, torment, intimidate, strong-arm, dominate

According to Wikipedia:

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively to impose domination over others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Justifications and rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, or ability.[2][3] If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.[4] The target of bullying is sometimes referred to as a “victim “.

We have all run into bullies in some shape or form. For many of us now as adults, we find them in the workplace or on the soccer fields with our kids. In the workplace or at PTA meetings, we can normally fend for ourselves even though we get irked when we see these people coming a mile away.

For  our kids, they have it much harder. First off, they cannot recognize bullying for what it is when they first encounter it. secondly, they are only now broadening their view of the world and how human being interact as a general rule beyond Mom and Dad (next topic…bullying at home);  they become confused and in some situations even scared.

I remember being overseas, travelling by myself and being approached by a group of thugs making eye contact and being very intimidating, mostly with their body language. This was super scary.

Rule #1 learnt from the subways of new York City…do not make eye contact, if you do, drop your eyes immediately! I did this and sped up my walk…crossed the streets and kept on moving…fast.

Our kids have not learnt rule #1 yet. Depending on the situation, they end up thinking that they are the ones at fault and they internalize their fears and their scares. As a parent or any concerned adult, you have the burden of creating a backdrop where they can share anything and everything with you. This is a part of how we nurture healthy AND happy children.

To help us with this, let us first figure out why the heck do bullies mistreat others.

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Top Ten Signs That Your Child is Being Bullied

When it comes to weight bullying and just bullying in general it can be difficult to stop childhood bullying because the fear and anxiety that it instills in children makes them too afraid to come forward and tell someone that they are being bullied. As a parent, it is your job to be observant and watch for signs that your child has been or is being bullied in school. The unfortunate truth is that when most children are asked why they did not go to an adult for help their answers include some of the following:

  • They tried and no one believed them.
  • They were too embarrassed.
  • They were afraid their parent would just make it worse.
  • They did not think it would help/change anything.

It is important for teachers and parents to work together to be aware of the situation and figure out how to stop childhood bullying because it can cause severe emotional problems that can damage a child’s mental health and self-esteem. Regardless of if the bullying is verbal, physical, or emotional it can cause a lot of long-term damage. Some of the most common warnings signs that your child is being bullied include:

  1. The unexplained loss of schools supplies, lunch, money, toys, or other possessions.
  2. Fear of riding the school bus or just going to school in general.
  3. Sudden clinginess and fear of being left on their own.
  4. Mood appears angry, anxious, depressed, and sad.
  5. Frequent physical complaints including stomachaches and headaches that result in constant trips to the nurse’s office.
  6. Trouble sleeping including nightmares and bed wetting. In extreme cases, they may even start crying themselves to sleep.
  7. Begins to blame themselves for everything and claims that they are not good enough to do anything.
  8. Stops using the bathroom while they are at school because bathrooms are one of the most common places for children to be bullied in school.
  9. A sudden change in their eating habit.

10. An unexplained and sudden change in their mood, personality, and/or physical behaviors.

For a lot of reasons it is common for children to avoid telling their parents (or anyone) that they are being bullied. That is why it is important for you to say something and do something if you think your child is being bullied at school. You need to start by bringing the situation to the attention of your child’s school.

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