Ten Signs Your Child May Be Bullying Others

1- Justifying bad behavior.

  • Children who bully will try to shift blame to their target.  They fail to recognize how their actions negatively impact others.  Their emotions can quickly escalate and they feel justified in taking it out on others.

2-Behavioral issues.

  • Certain behavior issues correlate with bullying.  Children who are easily frustrated, impulsive or prone to fighting and who lack empathy are at a higher risk for bullying others.

3-Difficulty sleeping.

  • Children with aggressive tendencies were twice as likely to experience sleep disorders such as snoring or day time sleepiness.  There appears to be a potential link between sleep issues and contentious behavior.

4-Getting in trouble at school.

  • Children who bully others tend to be involved in troubling activities at school without care for the consequences or the negative impact the behavior may have on others.

5-Friends who act aggressively.

  • Children who bully usually have a large network of friends who may encourage your child to engage in bullying behavior.

6-Living in a violent home.

  • If a child is exposed to violence at home, they are more likely to react with violent behavior in pressure situations.  They tend to take out their anger and frustration on other children.

7-First-hand experience as the target of bullying.

  • Children who are targeted by bullies can often try to get control in their lives by bullying someone else.

8-Acting aggressively towards siblings.

  • Children who display aggressive behavior toward their siblings may also be demonstrating bully behaviors toward their peers.

9-Spending a lot of time on electronic communication devices.

  • The anonymity of the cell phones, tablets and the internet allows bullies to be cruel without identifying themselves.

10-Intolerance towards people who are different. Children who lack empathy for other who are different (disabilities, ethnicity, gender identity, etc.) may be prone to bullying to take control.

Please be aware that not every child who exhibits any of these behaviors or engages in any of these activities is a bully or will be a target for bullying.  These are simply guidelines to help you understand the behaviors that may drive bullying behaviors.

The most important step you can take to help your child avoid bullying situations is to make sure that you are communicating with them on a regular basis.  Open and honest communication with your child will help them to feel confident in coming to you when a problem arises.