At What Age Does Bullying Start?
TRANSCRIPT: Bully starts at a young age, but I was giving a parent talk recently and I asked that question to parents to get an idea and one of the parents raised their hand and said “my bullying started I think when my baby was in my womb.” I started laughing and said it doesn’t start that early even though the baby is very aggressive and kicking, but the story is that bullying does start when kids start relating to each other which can start at age 2 or 3.
We see at 3 that girls pair off to become best friends and exclude another. That’s at 3 years old so by the time they get to elementary school and middle school they’re pros. Boys start that kind of stuff a little later, true bullying starts at age 7 or 8 when kids start understanding the meaning of power.
Kids at that age mentally realize that they have control over themselves and they can feel more powerful by moving up that social ladder. So that’s when we have to watch bullying and have people get involved in schools because that’s when it really begins to escalate through the middle school years and then levels out in high school.
Dr. Haber is available for speaking engagements and consultations to help your combat your school or workplace bullying issues.
Dr. Joel Haber