5 Warning Signs That Your Kid Might Be a Bully

5 Warning Signs That Your Kid Might Be a Bully

When we think about bullying, very few of us consider our own children as the culprits. It is much easier to see our kids as the victims in any situation and that is a completely understandable reaction. It also is a primary factor in why bullying behavior is so difficult to deal with. If the parents are in denial about their kid being a bully, then the kid is certainly not going to worry about what they are doing.

Bullying is a much deeper problem than this, but solving this problem begins with identifying the problem in the first place. So how do we take off the natural blinders that we as parents are inclined to have? Here are five warning signs that you can keep an eye out for.

5 Signs Your Child May be Bullying Others

Your kid has marked changes in behavior

Pretty much every teenager is moody or reserved on occasion. The key is to pay attention to changes. If you kid is normally talkative and engaged at the dinner table, for example, and then suddenly has nothing to say on a regular basis, you might have a problem. Teen depression often accompanies bullying behavior and should be considered as a part of the problem.

Your kid develops an anger problem

When a kid suddenly seems angry all the time, there is a decent chance they are taking that anger out on other kids at school. When you have a child that seems angry all the time, you owe it to the school, the kids that attend and their parents to closely monitor their behavior patterns when they are away from home. Talk with the school system and make sure you work together to ensure someone is paying attention.

Your child becomes intensely private

Kids go through stages, but bullies often will slide into a private world of their own making. If your kid starts to avoid the family, friends and other things they usually enjoyed, start asking questions and paying close attention. Many parents blow his behavior off as a “stage” and that is always a possibility. Unfortunately, there are far more dangerous possibilities that are more likely. Find out why your child is pushing everyone away by gently probing and paying very close attention.

Your kid comes home with physical signs

Bullies are not always going to walk away unscathed. Even though they often prey on kids weaker than themselves, they will still run into the occasional cuts, bruises and injuries from fighting. Don’t blow these things off. Dig deep into where things came from and follow up on what you are told.

You start getting problems in school

Problems at school are one of the first signs that you will see in a bully because they will start to let things slide. Very few bullies in school are going to make great students in school. They are generally preoccupied and hurting inside. Most of all they are searching for something that they are not getting in other parts of their lives. If your child begins having trouble at school, you need to get on top of the problem right away and begin looking closer.

Bullying behavior is complicated and it can happen to the best family units. The key is to recognize this type of behavior early and deal with the underlying cause. These five warning signs are a good start towards paying closer attention.

Do you think there are any other warning signs that suggest a child may be bullying others? Tell us in the comments. 


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9 thoughts on “5 Warning Signs That Your Kid Might Be a Bully”

  1. What we are seeing are the mean girls. They make fun of less popular or alternative looking students. I’ve alerted the parents but they are just as bad.

  2. My son has always been bullied. And now he is in high school and he does have some anger problems, but now I’m getting calls from school and it’s not good. Usually my son is the one going against a bully and now it seems like he has turned the other way. As a mom I’m trying to do the best I can and be present and not ignoring these things. I just Feel I’m running out of options to ground him with.

  3. Great article, so many parents assume their kids would never do this. My middle daughter has had a few times were she came too close to bullying. She tends to be blunt, and hurt the feelings of one of her friends. Luckily the parent came to me, so I was able to talk to my daughter and help her see the other girl’s point of view and be more considerate. Communication with your kids is key.

  4. My eldest experience the other side of bullying in school, which is a main reason we elected to start homeschooling 9 years ago. But, I do watch my one son who is IN school for signs as he can lash out when he feels threatened by others. No signs of it so far, if anything he’s told me about seeing other kids treating kids meanly on the playground when teachers are not around to see it.

  5. I’ve been on the opposite side with my son, where he’s been bullied. I worry sometimes that it could turn into him becoming a bully to someone else. I remember a little boy I babysat spat on another kid. I asked him why. He said it was because a bigger kid pushed him. I think sometimes, kids think that if someone does it to them, they can do it to someone else.

  6. My son is 4 years old, but I already find myself reading up on the subject. It’s nice to see these tips to know what to watch for.

  7. My daughter dealt with this earlier last year during her sophomore year… but she stood up to the girl. I don’t condone fighting but now she don’t bother her anymore.

  8. As a mom I do worry about this. I need my kids to be humble yet confident. No need to bully but also not be a target either… not that I am victim blaming.

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