This bully is the one who has been there, done that. This child has been on the receiving end of bullying behavior on more than one occasion in her young life. And according to a University of Washington and University of Indiana study, being bullied at home happens to a lot of kids.
To be specific, 97 percent of the children in the study who bullied others had been bullied themselves. Not surprising, since it's widely agreed that witnessing violence at home makes a child more prone to aggressive behavior.
A bullied bully may have an abusive parent or a parent who batters the other; she might have been threatened and pushed around by an older sibling or bullied by a peer. This bully bullies other kids to right the scales of justice. She feels powerless and angry at being a victim and she lashes out at other children to get revenge and gain a sense of power and control. This child is often not popular with her peers because of her seemingly remorseless and hostile attacks.
The Southern California Center of Excellence on Youth Violence Prevention reports that children who are generally considered to be bullies by age eight are six times more likely to commit a crime by age 24. These same kids are five times more likely to have a serious criminal record by age 30.
Susan is the six-year-old tiny terror of the first grade. She's mean, she's spiteful, and shockingly, she has the vocabulary of an irate truck driver. Susan usually spends half the day in the principal's office for harassing, insulting, and attacking her peers. When she's sent back to the classroom, she mopes around introverted and depressed.
Susan wants other kids to like her, but is unable to interact in a normal first-grade fashion. Susan has learned that the only way you get what you want is by force. So naturally, Susan tries to force other kids to play with her, to give her things, and to be her friend.
When forcing a kid to be her friend doesn't work, Susan blows up and wants to inflict pain on the other child. So Susan bullies them. When Susan makes other kids feel the anger and powerlessness she feels when she's being bullied, it makes her feel better — at least for a little while.