Bullying possibly starts at home

By admin
11 August 2014

New research has shown aggressive parenting and teaching are turning children into schoolyard bullies. Here are some expert tips on the topic.

Do you think smacking is sometimes okay? According to parenting researcher and author Dr Justin Coulson, new research has shown aggressive parenting and teaching are turning children into schoolyard bullies.

Coulson argues parents who act aggressively towards their children are partly to blame for bullying at schools.

“Yelling, threatening, withdrawing privileges and hitting are breeding a culture of systemic bullying that will be passed on to future generations. Most adults don’t see it as bullying; they see it as discipline,” he explained.

Data collected from 140 research studies from around the world has shown children are less likely to be bullies when their parents and teachers are understanding and responsive, and when they see discipline as “teaching” and “guiding”, rather than something they need to do by force.

“We need to see discipline less as a punishment and more as a teaching opportunity. And we should recognise that a bully is usually a child with an important unmet need – and bullying is the unhealthy way she or he tries to have that need met,” says Coulson.

Tips to prevent aggressive parenting

  • Watch for triggers Be aware and ask yourself whether there are certain triggers that regularly cause you to show aggressive behaviour.
  • Be careful of how you react If you react to problems in the home by shouting or hitting, your children will learn from you that this is acceptable behaviour at stressful times.
  • Listen and observe Look at things from a different perspective before you overreact, and listen to what your child has to say. Then explain to him or her your point of view in a calm way, without any shouting.
  • Wait for the right time to discipline: If you’ve had a hard day, wait a while until you feel calmer so you can discuss your child's actions with them in a peaceful manner.
  • Show love instead: Instead of fighting, show your children you love them by giving them attention and showing affection. In this way, they won’t feel lonely and seek different ways to get your attention.
  • Praise good behaviour: If your children behave well, praise them. This will make your child feel good and want to behave in a positive manner more often, and will prevent you from getting angry.

-Janine Nel

Sources: dailymail.co.uk, kidspot.com, wikihow.com, lightshouse.org

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