Parents of kids who bully share common traits.

Do you know what they are? Perhaps some of these traits describe you.

Knowing them will help prevent your child from becoming a bully.

Bullies aren’t created in a vacuum. There is cause and effect.

Parents should never underestimate how influential their own behavior is on their children.

If parents have the following traits, it is more likely that their children are already bullies — or will eventually become bullies.

Traits that Parents of Bullies Tend to Have

#1     Often feeling angry with their child.

#2    Conveying to their child that he or she bothers the parents a lot or gets on the parent’s nerves.

#3    Parents who don’t or rarely share ideas with their kids, or who rarely talk with them.

#4    Failing to meet all or even most of their child’s friends.

#5    Mothers who report having less-than-optimal mental health.

Isn’t it normal for parents to get angry at their kids sooner or later?


It’s one thing for parents to feel angry with a child who steals a classmate’s CD, for instance, or who refuses to do his homework or help take care of the puppy he promised he’d help take care of.

But some parents persistently show anger to their child for no good reason or over trivial occurrences such as snacking an hour before dinner or getting a “B” in art class rather than an “A.” 

Some parents completely go overboard with fury — very out of proportion to the alleged infraction.

“They also can find effective ways to manage any feelings of anger toward their child and can work with health care providers to make sure any emotional or behavioral concerns they have about their child, as well as their own mental health, are addressed,” says Rashmi Shetgiri, MD, FAAP.

Dr. Shetgiri was the lead researcher for an investigation for which the results were compiled as a result of data from parents who participated in the National Survey of Children’s Health from the years 2003 to 2007.

Parenting should be more than a job; it should be about relationships.

It only makes sense that children are less likely to become bullies when they have parents who freely communicate with them and share ideas, as well as ask for their kids’ ideas and opinions regarding age appropriate matters.

Get to know your kids’ friends. Don’t try to be the “cool mom.” Just simply show interest in socializing with them. Heck, invite them over for home baked cookies and let things unfold naturally in a relaxed atmosphere.

And, if you feel that your mental health is less than optimal, seek treatment. Find out why you feel this way.

Ask yourself if this might negatively impact your family. If it impacts your quality of life and those of adult relationships, why exclude your children from this fallout?

“Targeting interventions to decrease these persistent risk factors and increase the persistent protective factors could lead to decreased bullying,” says Dr. Shetgiri, medical director at Pediatric Primary Care Clinic in Los Angeles whose research interests include bullying and youth violence prevention.

According to the survey results, in 2003, 23 percent of kids had bullied another child, and in 2007, that figure was much higher at 35 percent.

Though the survey results spanned 2003 to 2007, these behaviors still apply today.

Dr. Shetgiri is particularly interested in prevention of violence among Latino youth, the implementation of primary-care-based bullying and violence prevention strategies, and health outcomes for children exposed to violence and abuse.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Top image: Shutterstock/Suzanne Tucker