What Makes a Bully?
Children usually do not wake up one day determined to be a bully. Instead, this behavior develops gradually being influenced by multiple factors. Children are influenced by their families, peers and the media. A young child who is witnessing aggressive or violent interactions at home between family members will be influenced by these actions and may imitate them at school or child care. Not all children who become bullies come from domestic violence situations, there are many factors. Some bullies experience punitive or extreme discipline or witness people threatening or controlling others for personal gain. Some of these experiences are blatantly obvious and inappropriate while others may be more passive and manipulative in nature.
Home life is not the only factor that influences the development of bullying behavior. Children learn from peers from a very young age and are influenced by social interactions. Some children may develop bullying behaviors as a result of other children’s similar behaviors. Very young children will imitate and mimic their peers while older children may strive to be like one of their peers in order to fit in. If these aggressive or bullying types of behaviors are not redirected and addressed by caring and supportive adults, further bullying behavior may develop as the child grows.