You’ve probably never thought of this; however, there are social and biological reasons for children bullying other children. Unfortunately, the word “bullying” is common in today’s vocabulary. At one point our society had grown immune to the term bully. It has taken reports of children dying by suicide due to the pain of bullying to draw attention to the seriousness of this issue.
Socially, children bully because they lack self-regulation skills to deal with stress, trauma, sorrow, and a host of emotions. Thus, bullying is a manifestation of misplaced revenge behavior to gain power and control.
Biologically, children bully because they experience pleasure in the brain’s reward center. Research found that maladaptive aggressive behavior (bullying) is a result of inappropriate activation of brain reward systems in response to aggressive or social stimuli. In other words, some children experience a positive chemical reaction to bullying other children.
The goal is to educate children on the effects of bullying and help them to develop self-regulation skills.