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I see a lot of memes on social media decrying bullying – and that’s great, but I cannot help but wonder why children bully in the first place. I mean, I can see that it seems like learned behaviour – monkey see, monkey do. But where did it start – somehow, somewhere it must have become a cycle, right? The mom bullies her daughter who bullies her daughter and on and on it goes. I’ve come to understand that people who are hurt tend to hurt others, whether they consciously mean to or not. So, to my mind, shaming or attempting to make a bully feel guilty for their behaviour may just add to the feelings that cause them to bully in the first place. I have tried to understand the reasons children bully others ever since I was bullied myself as a child.

Let’s face it happy, content people generally do not bully others, or cause unnecessary pain. I think that goes for children too. I think we need to look deeper than the surface to understand the reasoning behind bullying. Treating a child like they’re a monster does not seem to me to be a reasonable or helpful way to handle bullying. In an age where bullying, especially on social media, seems to be growing out of control I think it’s time we gave more thought to the reasons for this behaviour and try to find better ways to cope with it – for the sake of all our children and young people.