Thursday, March 14, 2013

Children who Bully

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While bullying is common among children, it is no longer tolerated nor considered to be a part of growing up as in past decades. The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension fact sheet, “Why Do Some Children Bully Others?” provides information on children who bully.

Bullying is an early form of aggressive, violent behavior. About 16 percent of students in the Unites States are involved. Of those, seven percent are the bullies and nine percent are the targets of bullies. By 24-years-of-age, 60 percent of bullies have criminal records. In comparison to other children, bullies grow up to have more arrests for drunk driving, domestic violence and child abuse.

Bullies are aggressive children. They view violence as an okay way to interact with other children. Many bullies are impulsive and active. Some are physically abused by their parents or other adults. Some have parents who are bullies. Bullies often copy the behavior they see or experience at home.

Possibly because they don’t know what to do, parents and other adults may ignore the behavior of bullies. Since they aren’t’ disciplined, bullies learn it is okay to act aggressively towards others.

Bullies harass others because of their race, gender, ethnicity, physical attributes, sexual orientation or personality characteristics. Anyone that the bully considers “different” can become the target. Bullying can be pushing, kicking, hitting, making threats, name calling, spreading rumors, and teasing or humiliating others.

Both boys and girls are bullies. Boys tend to use more physical behaviors, while girls are more indirect, such as spreading rumors or leaving a child out of activities. Bullying usually starts in the preschool years. It escalates during elementary school and peak during middle school.

 You can download the entire publication at

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