How To Prevent A Bully

A huge fear for parents is sending their kids off to school. They can’t be there to protect them from other kids or situations that may hurt them. With bullying being so talked about on the news and media, which it should be, parents are now fearing that their child may be the victim of bullying at school. But what if your child is the bully? That thought is just as scary to parents, or even more so because the damaging effects bullying can have on a child can last a lifetime. So how do you prevent your child from becoming a bully?

In her book Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fearauthor Carrie Goldman draws from the work of several scholars and shares information on parenting practices that can help prevent bullying – as well as those that can actually foster bullying behaviors. Here are a few examples of risk factors and protective factors that Goldman shares in her book:

Risk Factors  Kids who bully others are more likely to experience:

  • Frequent and inconsistent punishment
  • Harshness, rejection or neglect from their parents
  • Cruelty, maltreatment and domestic violence
  • Low parental warmth
  • Low family connections and cohesion
  • Limited parental involvement in school

Protective Factors – Parents of well-adjusted kids tend to:

  • Use effective monitoring
  • Communicate warmth, love and a sense of belonging
  • Get actively involved in their child’s school activities
  • Set appropriate, consistent boundaries
  • Have expectations for their children
  • Communicate regularly with their children’s teachers


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