Physical, Emotional, Sexual, Neglect
in Our Teens and in Ourselves
Influence and Peer Relationships
Behavior Problems and Behavioral Disorders
Parents Can Do to Change Their Child's Behavior Before
Should Parents and Teachers Know About Bullying?
and teachers are sometimes reluctant to intervene in conflicts between
young children. They don't want to see children harm or ridicule one
another, but they want to encourage children to learn how to work out
problems for themselves. In such cases, adults have a responsibility
to stop violence or
aggression in the classroom or at home -- both for
children who demonstrate harmful behavior and for all other children.
We can teach children not to take part in -- or become victims of --
demonstrate aggression, or "bully" other children may be
unable to initiate friendly interactions, express their feelings, or
ask for what they need. If these children do not improve their social
skills, they will continue to have problems relating to peers
throughout their lives. In addition, if other children see that
aggressors get what they want through bullying, they are more likely
to accept or imitate this undesirable
who are unable to stand up for themselves are easy targets for
aggressive playmates. These children inadvertently reward bullies by
giving in to them, and risk further victimization. Adults do not help
by speaking for victims and solving their problems for them. Children
must learn that they have the right to say "No," not only
when they are threatened, but in a wide range of everyday situations.
The key to
promoting positive interactions among young children is teaching them
to assert themselves effectively. Children who express their feelings
and needs while respecting those of others will be neither victims nor
aggressors. Adults must show children that they have the right to make
choices -- in which toys they play with, or (within boundaries) what
they wear and what they eat. The more children trust and value their
own feelings, the more likely they will be to resist
respect warm and caring adults, and to be successful in achieving
their personal goals.
Association for the Education of Young Children.
behavior (e.g., saying "No" to another child's unacceptable
demands) and contrast aggressive or submissive responses through
demonstrations. Let children role-play with puppets or dolls.
interactions seem headed for trouble and suggest ways for children to
compromise, or to express their feelings in a productive way.
Teach children to seek
help when confronted by the abuse of power (physical abuse, sexual
abuse, or other) by other children or adults.
Remind children to
ignore routine teasing by turning their heads or walking away. Not all
provocative behavior must be acknowledged.
Teach children to ask
for things directly and respond directly to each other. Friendly
suggestions are taken more readily than bossy demands. Teach children
to ask nicely, and to respond appropriately to polite requests.
After a conflict
between children, ask those involved to replay the scene. Show
children how to resolve problems firmly and fairly.
Show children how to
tell bullies to stop hurtful acts and to stand up for themselves when
they are being treated unfairly.
children not to give up objects or territory to bullies (e.g., say,
"I'm using this toy now"). Preventing bullies from getting
what they want will discourage aggressive behavior.
acts of aggression, bossiness, or discrimination for children and
teach them not to accept them (e.g., say, "Girls are allowed to
play that, too").
Show children the
rewards of personal achievement through standing up for themselves,
rather than depending on the approval of others solely.