It is easier to judge the actions, than the motives of a person’s action. It is also true that the reasoning on why someone is bullying another is unique to that individual. We can only look at the examples of incidences of bullying and glean the causes of them.
1. Dealing with pressure. Many students have not learned how to manage the pressure from unmet expectations (their own or those put upon them), or lack the ability to solve a problem in their personal life.They vent their frustrations on those around them.
2. Given too much authority or responsibility. “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Students need to be given areas where they can grow in leadership skills and develop responsible behavior. However, they need to be taught how to be fair and compassionate with those they are given authority over. They need to learn how to follow others in leadership as well. Too much authority and responsibility gives a child an unrealistic perception of power and control and must be carefully monitored.
3. Fears of inferiority. Often a student will try to deflect attention from the fact that they are struggling with their reading or cannot solve a math problem, by behaving disagreeably. Sometimes that negative attention is focused on individuals who seem to do better at academics and, consequently, makes the bully feel inferior.
4. Being bullied themselves. Children learn by example and experience on how to treat others. Being in situations where their own power was stripped away by a bully or a dominant personality may cause them, in turn, to get that power back by bullying others.
5. Being coerced into it. Peer pressure has been the root cause of many
incidences of bullying; whether the other students are pitting one against
the other, or the student is afraid that others would bully them if they show signs of weakness or empathy for their victim.
6. Anger. Children have difficulty in communicating to others when they have a problem. They feel powerless in an environment where the adult is always right. They may express that anger and helplessness by venting their frustration and anger on someone else – especially on those whom they feel they can control.
7. Envy. Wanting what another has and being willing to take is a definition that can be applied equally to envy and bullying.
8. Revenge. Students may use bullying to express a grievance or retaliation on a wrong suffered. The bullying can take the form of creating rumors, silent treatments or ostracizing victim.
9. To maintain popularity. Being admired and catered to can give a person a sense of superiority. Ones who feel superior must have, by definition, others who are inferior to them. To maintain that position, a bully would need to ensure that those around them are giving them the attention and deference they believe they deserve.
10. Untaught. Sometimes a bully hasn’t learned the proper way to interact with others or the right way to get what they want. Teaching a child how to speak to others and respect their boundaries is always important. Give them
alternative ways to communicate.
You cannot change a persons’ behavior if you do not address and change the cause of that behavior. To simply chastise a student for bullying without addressing their inner motivations and reasons for bullying leaves the student with the same means of “communicating” in future conflicts. When parents and teachers work to address the root cause of the issue, they are able to train students in new and alternative ways to deal with problematic situations.