We might know that our child is a bully because we experience the bullying personally or with other immediate members of the family. Some of us receive phone calls from schools, coaches, and organizations. Others may not realize that some behaviors are indicative of bullying and though a child may not be “bullying” in the most common depiction of bullying, these behaviors are inherently bullying behaviors.
They’re excessively controlling
Bullying behaviors stem, in part, from a need to be in control. Most often, there is an element of a child’s life which feels out of control to them. They find control by finding ways to control others through intimidating, threatening, abusing, and bullying. Commonly, bullying is not the only way a child is exacting control in their life. They might display aggression in other areas, including self-harming behaviors like abusing drugs and alcohol. Eating disorders, compulsions, and other behaviors which ultimately get out of control can be a way that a child who bullies other children bullies themselves.
Impulsivity is what puts fuel to the fire for a child who bullies. It takes one small instigation or trigger to set a bullying child off. Their behaviors are often aggressive and outlandish, seeming to warrant little to no consideration of consequence. Impulsivity in children who are bullies is a warning for addiction. Impulsive behaviors can lead to wanting to show off, be better than others, or be the best.
They don’t have empathy
Being a bully has to have an element of insensitivity to others in order to continuously act out in harming them. Empathy is the ability to understand others, share their feelings, and step into their shoes. Bullying children have little regard for how others feel before, during, or after being bullied. A lack of empathy for victims often extends to other areas of life. Children who are bullies often lack empathy for social issues, political issues, and familial relations.
They don’t take accountability
They were asking for it. They deserved it. I didn’t do anything wrong. They’re lying. Children who bully are prone to compulsive lying. When confronted about their bullying behaviors, children blatantly deny what they have done and they refuse to discuss why they did it. In other areas of life like homework, school participation, chores at home, and engagement with family members, a lack of accountability often comes through. Frequently, bullying children become aggressively angered when asked to hold accountability for their actions. Taking responsibility in any way would rob them of the ability to continue acting without any.
Addiction in adolescence and teenage years don’t have to determine the rest of a life. Choose treatment and recovery today by calling Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center for information on our long-term residential programs: 662-598-4214