Newsletter Subscription

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

Subscribe!

Regular Updates on Parenting, Happy Children & Emotional Intelligence

  • Latest Articles - Raising Children with Emotional Intelligence
  • New Parenting Blogs
  • Parenting Tips for Happy Children
  • Free Online Seminars
  • Popular Parenting Books & Reviews

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Unsubscribe

Proudly Supporting

Proudly Supporting

Bullying Prevention Starts at Home

 

Professor Dieter Wolke http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/psych/people/academic/dwolke/ , from the Department of Psychology and Division of Mental Health & Wellbeing at the University of Warwick explained that the aim of the analysis was to find out whether certain parenting behaviours were linked to the likelihood of a child becoming a bullying victim. Recognising that the responsibility for bullying prevention extends beyond schools, Dr Wolke concluded that the research shows intervention programs in families should also be part of community-wide anti-bullying strategies.
Analysing 70 studies involving over 200,000 children, Dr Wolke and colleagues Dr Muthana Samara http://fass.kingston.ac.uk/faculty/staff/cv.php?staffnum=721 and Dr Suzet Lereya, examined aspects of parenting behaviour including the quality of parent-child communication (link), authoritative parenting (link), parental involvement and support, supervision, warmth and affection (link), abuse and neglect and overprotective parenting (link). 
Children Who Are Victims of Bullying
Unsurprisingly the highest predictor of a child becoming a bully and victim was parental abuse or neglect. And children with high parental involvement and support, and warm and affectionate relationships were found to be significantly less likely to become victims of bullying. Good family communication and supervision were also identified as ‘protective factors’, making it less likely that a child would be bullied. These findings do not suggest that victims or their families are responsible for another child’s bullying behaviour, but they highlight the social and emotional benefits of ‘quality’ parenting that make children more able to deflect or avoid being bullied at school. 
Acknowledging the legitimate ‘chicken or the egg’ arguments, the researchers noted that for some of the studies it was impossible to tell whether a child’s behavioural issues emerged after harsher parenting or whether the harsher parenting  was exacerbated by a child already having challenging behaviours. However, eight of the studies reviewed, demonstrated that ‘poor’ parenting came before the bullying behaviour of children. 
Overprotective parenting (sometimes loosely called ‘helicopter parenting’) was also identified as a factor linked to a child being more likely to become a bullying victim. The researchers say “It is possible that children with overprotective parents may not develop qualities such as autonomy and assertion and… they may become easy targets for bullies. It could also be that parents of victims may become overprotective of their children” [as a result of bullying].
Children Who Are Bullies (and Victims)
In the current study, ‘negative’ parenting behaviour referred to instances where there was abuse or neglect of children or maladaptive (poor) parenting e.g. violence, humiliation; as mentioned before, overprotective parenting was also analysed. Negative parenting experiences were linked to a moderate increase in the risk of being a bully/victim. Results of this large-scale analysis confirm what experts have continued to highlight for policy-makers; investing in support for vulnerable families and providing parenting support programs are crucial protective factors for a children’s wellbeing at school.
Challenging home environments may make it more likely that a child becomes a bully at school. Being exposed to poor parenting can teach children aggressive and antisocial habits that they bring to the playground; conversely, the researchers explain “some maltreated and abused children may adopt a submissive … posture with their parents … to maintain their safety in violent and/or chaotic homes. [And], children who are exposed to negative parenting may learn that they are powerless, have less-confidence and become less able to assert their needs… and peers may regard them as easy targets for bullying.”
‘Positive’ parenting which includes boundaries, warmth and supervision, (link) can strengthen children’s sense of themselves and help them to acquire
coping strategies that increase resilience and reduce the chances of them being victimised at school. 
Organisations such as the Benevolent Society and the Smith Family in Australia already recognise the value of investing in parent support programs.  As part of the Australian Government’s focus on supporting vulnerable families, The Smith Family is delivering a Family Support Program in the Brimbank area in Victoria  http://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/webdata/resources/files/Brimbank_CSP_Final_30_04_2012.pdf 
And in the Kwinana area of Western Australia the Smith Family supports parenting programs in its Kwinana Communities for Children. http://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/site/page.cfm?u=662  The Benevolent Society offers parenting support through a variety of services such as its Communities for Children http://www.benevolent.org.au/connect/being--a--parent  and Helping Out Families programs.
This research is published in the journal of Child Abuse & Neglect http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213413000732.

Supportive parent involvement together with warm and affectionate parenting, are part of the scaffolding required in children’s lives to reduce the chances of them becoming a bully, a victim or both. Last month, researchers at the University of Warwick and Kingston University published findings from a large-scale analysis of research on bullying and victimisation of children and produced more evidence of the importance of parenting programs to bolster children’s wellbeing. 

Professor Dieter Wolke, from the Department of Psychology and Division of Mental Health & Wellbeing at the University of Warwick explained that the aim of the analysis was to find out whether certain parenting behaviours were linked to the likelihood of a child becoming a bullying victim. Recognising that the responsibility for bullying prevention extends beyond schools, Dr Wolke concluded that the research shows intervention programs in families should also be part of community-wide anti-bullying strategies.

Analysing 70 studies involving over 200,000 children, Dr Wolke and colleagues Dr Muthana Samara and Dr Suzet Lereya, examined aspects of parenting behaviour including the quality of parent-child communicationauthoritative parenting, parental involvement and support, supervision, warmth and affection, abuse and neglect and overprotective parenting

Children Who Are Victims of Bullying

The highest predictor of a child becoming a bully and victim was parental abuse or neglect. And children with high parental involvement and support, and warm and affectionate relationships were found to be significantly less likely to become victims of bullying. Good family communication and supervision were also identified as ‘protective factors’, making it less likely that a child would be bullied. These findings do not suggest that victims or their families are responsible for another child’s bullying behaviour, but they highlight the social and emotional benefits of ‘quality’ parenting that make children more able to deflect or avoid being bullied at school. 

Acknowledging the legitimate ‘chicken or the egg’ arguments, the researchers noted that for some of the studies it was impossible to tell whether a child’s behavioural issues emerged after harsher parenting or whether the harsher parenting  was exacerbated by a child already having challenging behaviours. However, eight of the studies reviewed, demonstrated that ‘poor’ parenting came before the bullying behaviour of children. 

Overprotective parenting (sometimes loosely called ‘helicopter parenting’) was also identified as a factor linked to a child being more likely to become a bullying victim. The researchers say “It is possible that children with overprotective parents may not develop qualities such as autonomy and assertion and… they may become easy targets for bullies. It could also be that parents of victims may become overprotective of their children” [as a result of bullying].

Children Who Are Bullies (and Victims)

In the current study, ‘negative’ parenting behaviour referred to instances where there was abuse or neglect of children or maladaptive (poor) parenting e.g. violence or humiliation; overprotective parenting was also analysed. Negative parenting experiences were linked to a moderate increase in the risk of being a bully/victim. Results confirm what experts have continued to highlight for policy-makers; investing in support for vulnerable families and providing parenting support programs are crucial protective factors for children’s wellbeing at school.

Challenging home environments may make it more likely that a child becomes a bully at school. Being exposed to poor parenting can teach children aggressive and antisocial habits that they bring to the playground; conversely, the researchers explain “some maltreated and abused children may adopt a submissive … posture with their parents … to maintain their safety in violent and/or chaotic homes. [And], children who are exposed to negative parenting may learn that they are powerless, have less-confidence and become less able to assert their needs… and peers may regard them as easy targets for bullying.” Positive’ parenting which includes boundaries, warmth and supervision, can strengthen children’s sense of themselves and help them to acquire coping strategies that increase resilience and reduce the chances of them being victimised at school. 

Organisations such as the Benevolent Society and The Smith Family in Australia already recognise the value of investing in parent support programs.  As part of the Australian Government’s focus on supporting vulnerable families, The Smith Family is delivering a Family Support Program in the Brimbank area in Victoria. And in the Kwinana area of Western Australia The Smith Family supports parenting programs in its Kwinana Communities for Children.  The Benevolent Society offers parenting support through a variety of services such as its Communities for Children and Helping Out Families programs.

The research is published in the journal of Child Abuse & Neglect 

image freedigitalphotos.net