My kid's the bully

Day after day I live with the notion that it’s more than probable that THAT school bully is my kid.  Well one of them at least, anyway.

How do I know?  I see it in the home.  It’s that simple and I struggle to believe any parent who claims they don’t have a clue that their child is a bully.

Of course my kids have extenuating excuses, reasons and what not.  Still, it doesn’t make me feel any better about it.

Here’s my input on what makes a bully, like the one I have.

Low self esteem – The child struggles with school work and has processing issues which means often he/she just doesn’t get it.  This means laughter from school peers and often a snide, sarcastic remark from a teacher.

Fear of rejection – We all know how much it hurts to be rejected but where do you take that hurt when it happens again and again.  You can have a major breakdown and crawl deep into your shell or you can block the hurt and become tougher than the hurt.  Ruling the hurt means ruling your peers.

Desperate loneliness – Loneliness is one of the saddest experiences for a child.  Some children look happy being alone but I’m pretty sure that deep down there is a sadness that they’ve learned to squash down.  Even loners need at least one good friend.

Adrenalin buzz – We all love the rush from adrenalin when something exciting happens.  My child-bully initially bullied for a reason and then discovered the adrenalin rush.  It feels great and when you’ve had so many ‘hurt’ negative feelings in your life either by trauma, foster care, abuse, neglect or sometimes just a dull life then that adrenalin is a welcome buzz.

From bullied to bully – My child was timid and bullied by others.  He was immature and cried easily.  Tears attract bullies.  Over time he hardened to their treatment and began to act out.  When this cry for help went ignored by teachers and was passed off as ‘naughty’ he learned to become subtle and to aim his actions at others.  He basically ‘evolved’ into a bully.

Bully with a purpose

My child steals from others to make friends, not because he needs/wants what he stole.   What does that look like?  Well, to you it may mean that bully who just took that great looking chocolate biscuit from your child’s lunch box.  Or the small toy that has gone missing from the ‘news’ table in class.


A bully isn’t always trying to hurt the victim.   My child-bully when stealing, is only able to obsess on the object that may bring them favour with the receiving child, who is unsuspectingly receiving stolen goods.

My child-bully is genuinely upset when he’s made to stop and see how he has hurt the victim, but he struggles to stop his behaviour, which is now borderline on obsessive.

As A Mum Of A Bully

I’m embarrassed, often angry and frustrated with the lack of help available.  I’m doing everything right!  Teaching moral standards, empathy and more.   I’m also having to teach LAW to children younger than usually warranted in a desperate attempt to curb behaviors.

When I cry out for help and state that my child is a bully or a thief  I’m scorned or brushed off with silly statistics like  ’88%’ of boys steal at some time in their life.  Or suggestions that I should continue to teach empathy.  NOT HELPFUL!

A message from my heart to all mums of bullied kids.

My heart breaks knowing my child is the bully.  Not a pride issue but sadness for the child being bullied.  I’m trying my best and it’s not for lack of parenting or quality of home life.  Where possible my child says sorry and I require restitution to the harmed child because they deserve it.

I shed a silent tear for you, the mother seeing your child bullied.  It hurts, I know because Ive seen it happen to another of my children.  In fact so badly that we moved schools!  The pain, frustration and anger towards the bully and the family belonging to the bully.

From my heart I am SORRY and I’m trying my best to change my bully.

A message to everyone else.

A bully doesn’t have to come from a sad, neglected home.  Bullies come from any family, rich or poor, large and small.

A bully doesn’t necessarily have nasty parents!  We are caring, loving parents working hard to raise our children to become positive contributors to society.  We’ve seen the problem and we are working hard to fix it.  We need encouragement and understanding and most of all support.  Not condemnation and cold shoulders.

We hurt for your child and we hurt for our child.  The bully is walking a rocky path leading to a troublesome end.

“I’m  SORRY”

This post has been republished with full permission from The Bumpiest Path. You can follow Jules on Twitter @thebumpiestpath