Is Your Toddler a Bully?


There was a time where I struggled with labels for my son’s behavior. As I previously wrote about here, he was acting like a 2-year-old jerk for a while there. Of course, I knew he didn’t have the capability to be mean on purpose, but I wanted to somehow explain and understand his biting and hitting. My goal in all of this was to find the “cure,” because I worried that he really was just a bully … and once a bully, always a bully.

But do toddlers and preschoolers really have the ability to be bullies? According to the dictionary, a bully is basically someone who intentionally picks fights with smaller or weaker people. Experts and non-expert parents disagree whether young children have the planning abilities and complex thought it takes to be a bully.

My kid is now 4-years-old and I know now that he is not a bully. Sometimes, it’s hard to even remember that this sweet, loving and sharing boy was once aggressive and violent with his playmates.

What do you think? Are there 3- and 4-year-old bullies?

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