There are many reasons why kids bully. Did you know that bullying behavior is often a cry for help?
According to Frank Peretti, there are two basic reasons why kids bully. One reason a child bullies is because he (or she) "has a deep troubling need of his own" and is picked on or feels that he does not have a very successful life. Bullies may be experiencing trouble at home, be underachievers in school, and for whatever reason they feel they have to make themselves better by picking on someone else. On the outside bullies may look fine, but they may be very lonely or may deliberately try to hurt themselves or have trouble eating or sleeping.
Another reason kids bully is that they may fall into a trap by thinking that bullying is just "the cool thing to do," especially in front of their friends. Sometimes bullies are those kids who are good students, athletes, or the kids who seem to have everything going for them. In Time Magazine, it was reported that even though bullies often will have high self-esteem, they "tend to be victims of physical damage as well." Most bullies live in families in which parents discipline them "inconsistently or through physical means."
Unfortunately, there are people who reward others who bully. The bullies are made to feel that they are "fitting in" with the others, or are "being cool" when they are acting like a bully. Mostly these kids do not feel very good about themselves, and bullying takes away that feeling. "Too often a bully's behavior is encouraged and not stopped. Some bullies become popular ringleaders with other kids, but not all bullies are the cool kids. Some are troubled students who may have been bullied themselves." (Time for Kids - see citation below)
Another reason why kids bully others is that adults don't give kids the skills they need to be able to tolerate and appreciate the differences of others. When the bully sees other people who are different, they lash out and make fun of them. Many feel that bullies engage in this behavior because it makes them feel important. They learn that being physically aggressive is a way to get what they want, and a way to control people.
Bullies also tend to continue their behavior throughout their lives. Their bullying actions become a cycle, in that bullies have children that they bully, and then their children become aggressive, and then they bully others too.