Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Bullying is one of the biggest problems found in school environments and other social contexts where children interact without adult supervision – like in sports teams or scouts. It can have very serious lifetime repercussions for both the victim and the bully, especially when building healthy social relationships and maintaining stable mental health.
There are a series of behavioral and mental traits that are common to most bullies. If you are a parent, it is your responsibility to know what you can do to prevent your child from becoming a bully and traumatizing other children. After all, the family environment and the education given at home play a fundamental role in children’s social behavior.
Here are six reasons or signs your child might become a bully:
1. Family problems
Parents have an extraordinary influence on their children’s behavior. When a child lives in a complex family environment and is constantly exposed to physical or verbal violence (whether as the target or as an observer), he or she is quite likely to take these violent examples to other social contexts in some way. Even if there is no explicit violence, if the relationship with the parents or the overall family environment is not healthy, the child will act according to the social model at home, which may be enough to become a bully.
2. Lack of empathy
Empathy can be described as the ability to understand, recognize, or share someone else’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Have you ever heard the famous expression: put yourself in someone’s shoes? It’s empathy that allows us to do such a thing, an extremely complex emotional capacity that makes us human. Some people don’t have this capacity so developed or don’t have it at all (like certain types of psychopaths, for instance). Lack of empathy can lead to a series of behavioral problems, including bullying. This might happen even if the child comes from a loving and caring home. In this case, children don’t understand how they are hurting others – if they are not given help in their emotional development, children who lack empathy may have serious problems building meaningful relationships in the future.