CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - How do you know if your child is the bully?
When we talk about bullying cases, many people don't ask what's going on in the aggressor's life to cause them to hurt others.
"A lot of bullies have been bullied themselves and a lot of them have been abused at home as well," said Dr. Yevgeniy Gelfand, pschyciatrist at Trident Health.
What a child sees at home, they will likely replicate with their peers. Dr. Gelfand warns that how parents treat their children will have long lasting effects on how they treat others.
"Kids are like a sponge, they base the notions of what the world is like based on what happens at home."
Correcting your own bad behavior could be the first step in ending the cycle. However, if you suspect your child is still being the aggressor among his or her peers, there are some signs to look for.
"They might be cruel to animals, maybe they're watching a lot of violence on TV and getting irritable very easily," said Dr. Gelfand. "They might have signs of depression. When people don't feel very well, they act out."
If you are having a problem with your child bullying others, Dr. Gelfand says there is an effective way to handle the bad behavior.
The best way to discipline is when someone is doing well to give them positive reinforcement and handling every situation the same way. Consistency is key, said Gelfand.
"The main thing I can tell you about disciplining is that you have to be very very consistent. The cause and effect has to be the same every time."
Dr. Gelfand says the best way to fight bullying is to talk about the problem openly, build trust and have a good relationship at home
Also, be patient to everyone involved - including the bully.
"A lot of them really do think that this is how the world works becaUse they just don't know anything else," said Dr. Gelfand.