Updated: Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011, 7:23 AM EST
Published : Tuesday, 08 Mar 2011, 7:19 AM EST
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a bully? In most cases, concern goes straight to the bullying victim, but a family counselor in Virginia Beach says the "bully" should also get our sympathy and our help.
"There's a certain kind of bullying that I consider normal," family counselor Gary Rotfus told WAVY.com. Rotfus calls those bullies copycats, children who intimidate because they see others doing the same thing, either at home or at school.
"Those kids, when they are identified by the school, parents need to intervene quickly," Rotfus said. He says the bullying will most likely stop if parents take a stand against bad behavior.
Joe in Norfolk emailed us with his concerns. He said his four-year-old daughter's teachers have approached him, saying that at times his daughter can be somewhat of a bully.
Rotfus said, "In that case, it's up to a parent to intervene and try to teach a child and set up situations where the child cannot always have his own way and taught to have sympathy for other people's feelings. If the bullying behavior isn't turned around....well, a vicious cycle is formed and a child who is pushed around and bullied by other kids...could develop low self esteem and then bully others as a way to feel dominant."
"A lot of times, the worst kind of bullying is the classic insecure person. It is someone inside who is anything but the dominant bully you see. It's someone who is often scared, who's insecure and is scared of many things in the world themselves," Rotfus continued.
Then, there's the child who is acting out because of a tough situation at home....those with dominant personalities, Rotfus says, will find a way to act on those feelings.
Rotfus suggests Joe take his daughter to the park, to watch how she interacts with other kids. Rotfus said if she pushes in front of someone at the slide or swings, he needs to step in and intervene. He suggests taking the child out of the situation and explaining that type of behavior is not acceptable. If the behavior is ignored, a child's bullying behavior can become a grown up problem.
"The bullying personality is going to find someone to bully, whether it's a co-worker, whether you're a boss bullying somebody and so, if we don't intervene early, those are the kinds of people who will continue to cause problems for other people throughout their lifetime," Rotfus said.
Most importantly, Rotfus said it's important to open up the conversation and talk about bullying.
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