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Bullies:

Parental roles and solutions

May 20, 2010|By Diana Olson

Part 3

According to the Bureau of Justice, bullying exists with 30% of the high school students. California has the highest incidence. Statistics show that 46% of males and 26% of the females in grades K-12 were bullies or victims. This contributes to youth violence, homicide and suicide. Eighty-seven percent of the shootings were motivated by retaliation against those who have bullied them.

Bullying is a serious problem, and we need solutions. How can parents help?

Parents’ role in teaching a child how to deal with bullies: In my former teaching career, I noticed so much of the parental actions that may have contributed to bullying. Parents often would have a tendency to retaliate and hurt the children because of their own feelings of incompetence.

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Some parents viewed disciplinary measures as child abuse. I have seen permissive parents produce children who know no boundaries, consequences, discipline or limits. This child dominates younger siblings, and everything revolves around his agenda, which can create a feeling of entitlement throughout his life.

Some parents may have inconsistent discipline based on the current moods of the parents. The child then never learns appropriate rules of conduct or respect for authority. Cold, calculating bullies can be created by self-centered, neglectful parents. A bully humiliates the victim and gets others to help him.

Those parents who serve as positive role models, with encouragement and support, create happy and optimistic children who are more able to handle intimidation. Healthy children enjoy individualism and group interactions, which develops self-confidence.

Acknowledge a child’s feelings of frustration and his ability to restrain himself. Respect, consideration and restraint are essential traits of a civilized child. Parents can create a safe environment free from destructive criticism that uses negative labels that attack character. Only behavior should be criticized and a solution or alternative offered. Home should be a safe place for a child to fall — or to fail.

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