Reducing the risk that your child will be a bully

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Reducing the risk that your child will be a bully

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There are a number of things that you can do, as a parent, that reduce the risk that your child will do bullying. The number one thing is to think about your role modeling as a parent. Kids learn more from what we do, rather than what we say. You have to think -- and this is a hard one for parents. Do you, as a parent, do gossiping? Do you spread rumors? Do you talk badly about friends of yours that your kids may see, especially behind their back? Do you exclude people that your kids observe? Those behaviors are things that kids will test out in their own relationships. It is hard for parents to think about it that way because they may not think that we do it. But we all do it, we are human. If we do it, it's okay, but if you do it in front of your kids, let them know, "I made a mistake. I shouldn't have done that. That was mean." Own it. Be a parent that owns their mistakes, and your kids will be able to do the same. The second thing is, you want to look at your parenting style as a couple, when you are looking at behavior issues with your kids. Do I have a style that is authoritarian? Is it my way or the highway? That kind of style adds to more bullying because children learn that aggression wins and my way is the only way to win. The better way the more authoritative parenting, which is where we give them a more balanced parenting. You do conflict resolution and teach them that it is better to work things out together. That's much better.

Watch Joel Haber, PhD's video on Reducing the risk that your child will be a bully...

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Joel Haber, PhD

Psychologist, Bullying & Parenting Expert, Author

Dr. Joel Haber is a Clinical Psychologist and internationally recognized bully prevention and parenting expert. He was selected as a webinar leader and a speaker for the Obama Administration Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention initiative.  He was also an invited participant to the Second Federal Partners in Bullying Prevention Summit in 2011. His recent book, Bullyproof Your Child for Life: Protect Your Child from Teasing, Taunting and Bullying for Good set the bullying standard for schools, camps, sports, organizations and families dealing with bully prevention and intervention. He recently published The Resilience Formula: A Guide to Proactive, Not Reactive Parenting.  He is a consultant and expert to the American Camp Association, and to LG Electronics as a member of (LGTextEd.com), providing cyberbullying and mobile harassment expertise to parents and families. He is an advisor to Cartoon Network’s anti-bully campaign: Stop Bullying: Speak Up.  He is an expert for No Snap Judgments: The Addams Family Broadway Show- National Campaign to promote acceptance and tolerance amongst our youth. He is also co-founder of Tool Kits for Kids (toolkitsforkids.com), recipient of five national parenting awards for helping parents and kids develop the tools and emotional life skills to overcome worry, build confidence and develop resilience. He has written and published extensively, speaking each year to thousands of parents and educators to help make children’s lives, safer and better. 

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