While many parents are well aware of the damage bullies can do to a child’s self-esteem, others might not realize that bullies also carry long-term consequences. Bullying is a big issue for kids with ADHD and there are several ways that your child can be involved in this type of behavior.
First, it’s important to understand what bullying is. It isn’t just name calling or a schoolyard fight. It is repeated aggression that takes place over time. A child who bullies may:
- Use cruel language or call names
- Spread rumors about another child or insult them in front of others
- Threaten physical harm to another child or even an adult
- Exclude another child from activities or physically harm them on purpose
- Constantly make fun of someone else and make them feel like they don’t belong
In many cases, children with ADHD who bully others do so because they have been bullied themselves. They might be lashing out because they feel like they don’t fit in or are unhappy with their own lives.
If your child is being bullied, you should be aware of the possible signs that your child is becoming a bully as well.
Is Your Child a Bully?
Here are some signs that your child might be a bully:
They show aggression toward other children.
It’s normal for kids to have arguments and even fight at times, but if it happens frequently and they seem to enjoy it, there may be something more going on. The child may become violent and hit other kids often or start physical fights without any provocation.
They can also take things too far and hurt other children physically, such as hitting them in the face or kicking them in the shins repeatedly. Your child may tease other kids relentlessly until they cry or call them names on purpose when others are around.
Bullying often happens behind closed doors, but if you see your child being mean to another kid in public, it could be a sign that he is bullying someone else behind closed doors as well.
They get upset when other kids don’t want to be around them.
If your child is constantly asking you to play with other kids and it never works out, he might be the one doing the bullying.
Children with ADHD have a hard time making friends and often are bullied by their peers because of it. They may think that if they become a bully, other kids will want to be around them more.
They don’t seem to care about the consequences of their actions.
When children with ADHD are in trouble for something they did, they often don’t seem upset about it or learn from their mistakes. They may also show signs of lack of empathy toward others, which is another sign that they could be bullying others on purpose.
They get in trouble at school or at home for things that happened outside of school or at home.
If your child has been accused of doing something wrong at school or by his teacher and you know he wasn’t there, it could mean that he was doing something wrong elsewhere when he wasn’t in school.
If your child gets in trouble for things that happened outside of school but didn’t involve you or anyone else who could verify his story, this could be a sign that he is bullying someone else.
They have poor self-esteem.
Children with ADHD are often teased because of their ADHD and might have a hard time feeling good about themselves.
They may start to bully others because they don’t feel like they fit in or are being picked on by other kids. This can lead to more aggressive behavior, which can lead to bullying others.
In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of the signs that your child is being bullied or becoming a bully. Both situations can have a big impact on your child’s self-esteem and their ability to function at school and at home.