Why do people bully others at school

Bullying in school: about causes, consequences and recommendations for action

Do you have the suspicion that something is not going well in your child's everyday school life? Does it isolate itself increasingly or does it no longer want to go to school? Does it have injuries that you cannot explain to yourself? It may be because of bullying. Talk to your darling and find out about the various stages, causes and consequences of bullying in school. This article also tells you how you as a parent can best help your child and what they can do by themselves.

What exactly is bullying?

Many children experience it firsthand or see it in class: bullying. This term does not refer to a normal conflict between two children. These are inevitable and usually quickly eliminated. Rather, a single student or a whole group puts a lot of stress on a child over a longer period of time.

A school child is teased by classmates | Pressmaster / Shutterstock

It is teased, ignored, or physically attacked. Insults and damage to personal belongings are also not uncommon. In general, a distinction is made between several forms:

Direct bullyingIndirect bullying
  • Verbal bullying: threats, teasing, ridicule
  • Physical bullying: hitting, pushing, pinching, etc.
  • Exclusion
  • Damage to reputation


Bullying in school is a phenomenon oftenmuch of the class involved is. In addition to the actual perpetrators, there are students who do not start the attacks but join in immediately. Part of the class realizes the situation and does not interfere. After all, the children don't want to get on the bully's radar themselves. In addition, there are sometimes students who bravely defend those affected.

Important to know: Victims of bullying are usually not to blame for their situation. The perpetrators look for children who, among other things, have low self-esteem, are too gullible or look unusual. However, the Bavarian State Ministry for Education and Culture emphasizes, for example, that bullying at school can unfortunately affect everyone. It's not about introversion or physical weakness. TheThe perpetrator chooses a classmate who is rated lower in the class structure. It is then referred to as a “loser” or “wimp”.

The stages of the bullying process:

Exploration stage
  • Minor malice against different children
  • Finding a suitable victim
Consolidation stage
  • Systematic attacks begin
  • Intervention by teachers and classmates is particularly important at this level so that the behavior does not become established
Stage of manifestation
  • Manifestation of the victim role
  • Isolation from the class community

Bullying at school: what are the causes?

As a rule, regardless of the type of school and age, children or young people are attacked by their classmates. The diverse Reasons are, for example, a disturbed class climate or the perpetrator himself.

A schoolboy takes his backpack away from a child in the schoolyard | patat / shutterstock

They may have low self-esteem and feel empowered if the victim doesn't resist. These can also be causes of bullying among children:

  • Anger
  • boredom
  • discontent
  • envy
  • low conflict ability

Some also pass on family wrongs to classmates. It has also happened that previous victims of bullying later displayed inappropriate behavior towards others themselves.

Recognizing signs: what alarm signals should you watch out for?

It is often not noticeable for a long time that a child is being bullied. After all, verbal or physical attacks often happen between lessons, during the break or after school - that is, when no teachers can intervene. In addition many people do not actively ask for helpwhen they are blackmailed, their school supplies disappear or their classmates expose them. This can have different reasons:

  • They think they are to blame for the situation.
  • They have no trust in teachers, parents or other caregivers.
  • They're afraid the bully will find out.

Is your child not talking to you about being bullied at school? Watch out for these and similar alarm signals:

  • Reticence
  • isolation
  • Dejection
  • passivity
  • Reluctance to learn
  • Withdrawal from the real world, for example in a fantasy world or in computer games
  • Injuries that cannot be explained

What are the consequences of bullying children face?

mobbing has a negative effect on your child's psyche. It often results in school stress, but also bodily issues cannot be ruled out.

A student sits desperately on the floor | Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Below are some of the possible consequences of bullying in school:

  • Headache and stomach ache
  • Loss of appetite
  • sleep disorders
  • Deterioration in academic performance
  • Long-lasting bad mood
  • uncertainty
  • Decreased self-esteem
  • Suicidal ideation

How to deal with bullying at school: what can those involved do?

Chicane in the school environment does not have to be permanent. There are several things you can do as a parent, your child, the teachers, and deal with the problem.

A mother talks to her daughter | LightField Studios / Shutterstock

What can you do as a parent?

  1. Help your darling build a healthy sense of self by treating them with trust, appreciation and consistency.
  2. Listen carefully to your child and actively ask if something strikes you as strange. You should make him understand that he can always turn to you with confidence in the event of problems.
  3. Find out where, when, how and by whom it is being attacked.
  4. Also, make it clear that if the child talks to you or a teacher about incidents of bullying in school, it is no nonsense.
  5. It is also very important that you notify the school. Find the conversation with the school management and the class teacher. School psychologists also provide help with bullying. Together you can work out a plan of action to deal with the problem. The following points are important:
  • Working with other parents
  • Strengthening the class community
  • Preventive measures for the whole school

What can your child do by themselves?

A boy holds out a defensive hand | Aaron Amat / Shutterstock

  1. During an attack, it should address the leader directly and not be affected by verbal or physical attacks. This takes the wind out of the sails of the bully.
  2. They can practice emergency behavior with you at home. Then it is better prepared for actions or statements.
  3. Your darling should try to make new friends. These give emotional support and can strengthen your back. It also sheds its role as an outsider.

What if your child bullies other classmates?

It is not easy to accept that your own child is frightening or bullying your classmates. You should neither play it down nor just punish it with house arrest or the like. Find the contact and find out why your darling is behaving this way. You should also make it clear to him that neither you nor the teachers will tolerate bullying in school and help him change his behavior.

Summary: Action is essential

Bullying does not mean a short-term conflict or argument among children. Rather, individuals are regularly bullied over a long period of time. They experience overt or subtle violence and become socially marginalized. This phenomenon can affect almost everyone and should be addressed again and again in school in order to sensitize students and teachers. As parents, you can and must take action against bullying at school. Talk to your darling about it openly and consult the headmaster, teacher or, if necessary, psychologist. Your child should not fight back, but ask for help and try not to be intimidated. It is true that it becomes more and more difficult to counteract bullying in school the longer the behavior lasts. But it is important in any case actively do something about it. After all, the mental balance of the little ones should not be impaired in the long term.