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Why do children bully each other?

As a parent, it can be frustrating and heartbreaking to find out that your child is being bullied at school. You love your child and you hate to think that they’re being treated so poorly by others – and potentially neglected by the school, which should be keeping them safe. It can also make parenting harder because the child may not want to attend school and may have trouble making friends.

But why does this happen? There are a number of different reasons why children engage in bullying, which could be relevant in your situation.

Focusing on themselves

Often, bullies are simply self-centered and they lack empathy. They are thinking about what they want and they don’t care if it harms someone else. For example, bullying may be seen as a way to increase their standing in the social hierarchy of their peers.

Copying parental behavior

In some cases, bullies are children who are just copying poor behavior that has been modeled by their parents. If they have parents who are aggressive or engage in emotional or even physical bullying at home, the child may simply think that that is how humans relate to each other. They will then treat their peers the same way that their parents treat them.

They have low self-esteem

Often, the problem is that the bully themselves feels inadequate or jealous, or they just have generally low self-esteem. They bully others because they want to bring other people down so that they can prop themselves up. It’s just an emotional tactic that they subconsciously think can help them deal with their own feelings.

Bullying can be very serious. If you believe that the school isn’t keeping your child safe, be sure you know what legal options you have.