We might assume bullying is done by a small number of 'bad kids' who are physically violent and antisocial. But the uncomfortable truth is that many young people bully others at some point. Some will stop after a while; others will keep doing it. And they don't all look the same.
Some children who bully others are seeking attention or trying to 'get a laugh'. Some are trying to fit in with their friends or be admired by their peers.
Some bullying is done by students with obvious personal problems, such as learning difficulties, social isolation or abusive families. Other bullying is done by children with high self-esteem who are popular and doing well at school. And, unfortunately, some young people who bully others have been the victims of bullying themselves. They may have come to believe that turning this harmful behaviour on other people is the best way to feel safe, accepted and powerful.
Understanding the different drivers of bullying can be a confronting task. But it puts parents and teachers on stronger ground to intervene and help prevent this behaviour in the future.
For more information, visit www.esmart.org.au/news/the-10-faces-of-the-modern-school-bully/