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Is My Child a Bully?

WHY DO SOME STUDENTS BULLY?

There are many different reasons that may cause students to bully another student.  Research indicates that the following factors may play a role in why a student bullies:

  • Peer Acceptance - Other students are bullying or the student feels that they must bully in order to be accepted by a certain group.
  • Low self esteem or jealousy - It makes the student feel stronger, smarter, or better than the person they are bullying.
  • Power or Control - The bully is looking for the rewards that aggression can bring
  • Lack of Social Skills - The bully may lack the social skills to feel compassion for his or her target
  • Self preservation - The bully is being bullied by others or sees bullying others as a way to protect him or herself from being bullied.

IS MY CHILD A BULLY?

It is important look for signs that your child may be bullying others. There can be long term consequences for both the bully and the target. Research shows that a child who bullies may exhibit some of the following behaviors:

  • Frequent name-calling (describing others as 'wimps' or 'jerks');
  • Regular bragging;
  • A need to always get his own way;
  • Spending a lot of time with younger or less powerful kids;
  • A lack of empathy for others; and

A defiant or hostile attitude (easily takes offense).

If you suspect that your child is a bully it is important to talk with them and understand the situation.  Here are some to ask your child that might help get the conversation started and help you take appropriate action:

  • How are things going at school and at home?
  • Are you being bullied?
  • Do you get along with other kids at school?
  • How do you treat other children?
  • What do you think about being considered a bully?

The links below have some tips on how to help your child to stop bullying:

Warning Signs Checklist- Is this Child a Cyberbully?
http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/cyberbullying/WarningSignChecklist_bully_0108.pdf

What if Your Child IS the Bully?
http://www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHP-c109.pdf

Teaching Kids not to Bully
http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/no_bullying.html

My Child Might be Bullying Others
http://stopbullying.gov/parents/my_child_bullies_others/index.html

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