It’s no secret that bullying is on the rise in America’s schools, playgrounds and neighborhoods. But why do kids resort to bullying? Jacksonville’s Project SOS offers these tips to help identify a child or teen’s potential for trouble.
- Home Strife: Kids who lack a loving family life, are overly pressured by parents or who lack discipline are more likely to bully others. They often ignore boundaries because they haven’t been taught to respect them. Or, they push those boundaries in an attempt to get the attention or approval of parents or others.
- Peer Pressure: Bullies often have large social groups of friends whom they constantly feel the need to impress or entertain. And many kids become reluctant bullies in order to gain an aggressive friend’s approval.
- Power Tripping: Power corrupts – no matter your age. Youth may want to gain a sense of power for multiple reasons. Perhaps abuse or neglect at home causes them to feel powerless, or they’ve been bullied themselves. Gaining power means gaining respect – and that can be an intoxicating feeling for kids.
- Boredom: Kids who literally have “nothing better to do” often will bully others just for fun and excitement. By contrast, those who are active in sports, arts, civic or other activities have less time and less temptation to push others around.
- Poor Self-Esteem: Bullies often secretly have a low self image fueled by bad grades, looks, a lack of athletic or artistic abilities that others possess, or simply a lack of someone in their lives giving them the support and encouragement that kids and teens need. As a result, they take out their aggression on others who have any perceived weakness that can be exploited.
Via various programs designed to strengthen students and empower parents, Project SOS can help you better understand the motives for and ways of dealing with bullying. Jacksonville counselors can be reached at 904-296-9950.