Expresso video 3: Why do children become bullies?

Bullying is a serious problem and as a society we often react with great empathy to the child who is being bullied.  But what if your child is the bully?

Children bully others for a variety of reasons.  Surprisingly when we talk to bullies we often find that they themselves suffer from a low self-esteem or feel unworthy and view their behaviour as a way to gain social status.  Children with impulse control problems, poorly developed problem solving skills or difficulties with anger management are prone to become bullies.  Similarly, children might find themselves in situations which cause them such intense frustration that they react with violence and bullying behaviour toward others.

What should you do if you realise your child has become a bully?

  • Make it very clear that you don’t approve of your child’s behaviour, but always be careful to separate his behaviour from his character.
  • Try to get the the root of why your child is bullying others.
  • Have your child help you devise a plan on how to put his unacceptable behaviour to a stop.
  • Ask teachers and other parents to help you monitor your child’s behaviour.
  • Praise your child for positive behaviours such as treating others with respect and using effective anger management strategies .

Anel Annandale is a prominent Educational Psychologist with a passion for early childhood development and a special interest in neuropsychology.

She is experienced in the field and has established herself as an expert, often appearing on television shows such as Exspresso. She is also available as a guest speaker at relevant events and functions.

For any queries call her on  021 423 0739 or email her at

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