Advertising
Advertising

Why Parental Involvement is Key to Preventing Child Bullying

Why Parental Involvement is Key to Preventing Child Bullying

Childhood bullying has been an ongoing topic of discussion for quite some time. This is due to both the severity and the persistence of this issue. The effect childhood bullying has on both the victim and the aggressor can be life-altering if not life-ending. Each year, an average of 8,000 children will end their own lives, nearly 1 per hour, in an attempt to escape their bullies. Additionally, those who make it to adulthood experience elevated tendency towards psychological disorders and social anxiety for the remainder of their lives.

Bullying isn’t the hazing we all received as kids that “made us stronger”, it’s killing our children and ruining their lives. Parents and schools must adopt more effective standards in preventing and eliminating this detriment within our schools. The following article will define, outline, and present causes, effects, and preventative measures in ending this epidemic.

Advertising

What are the Effects of Bullying?

As stated above, nearly one child per hour commits suicide as a result of being bullying, many of which may have been prevented had an educator or a bystander taken appropriate action. This number, while high is only the tip of the iceberg with regard to those impacted by bullying. The psychological implications of bullying can extend into the long-term and affect both parties as they mature into adulthood. These long-term effects include drug and alcohol abuse as well as an increased chance of incarceration. Bullying itself may merely be a symptom of a pre-existing psychological condition indicating the necessity for guidance and counseling to prevent it from worsening.

Who’s Responsible?

We all have the expectation that our schools need to exhibit more involvement in deterring and disciplining this behavior prior to its progression. But it isn’t just up to the school and bus drivers, it’s the parent’s responsibility as well. Not just the parents of the bully or the bullied, it’s also every parent’s responsibility to instill right and wrong and to empower their kids to act upon these morals. Essentially, everyone who plays a role in a child’s development is integral in nurturing and conditioning them into respectful young people who appreciate the value of a life.

Advertising

How Can We Help?

As parents, we need to understand that our children are like sponges and as they learn the ways of the world, they will soak up our views and mimic our actions. As a result, how we treat others around us is likely how our kids will treat their peers. Show compassion and respect, and our children will do so too. More importantly, talk to your kids, tell them the importance of  treating others well and standing up for what is right.

Just like we discuss “the birds and the bees”, find the right time to teach them to refuse to become a victim, refuse to be the aggressor, and refuse to be a bystander. Just as important as not being the bully or the bullied, being a witness to these actions and doing nothing about them or worse, recording it and sharing it to social media for “likes” is just as bad as being the bully.

Advertising

The Bystander Effect

The bystander effect is a scientifically researched occurrence, which indicates that when there is more than one witness to an event, even at an extreme encounter, they are far less likely to react. Research maintains that humans will look to others for guidance in regards to if they should act, when to react and how they should do so. This may be a result of a herd mentality or a decentralized decision making in which humans actually adopt a group “behavior.” This can sometimes act out in ways they never would alone or even prevent them from reacting to potential emergencies. By empowering our kids ahead of time to stop a bully or tell an adult, we can prevent physical and emotional harm that can affect a child for the rest of his or her life.

A Joint Effort for Prevention

People likely pick on others as a result of their upbringing. There is usually a void or resentment in one’s life and they temporarily fill it by belittling or causing pain to someone they perceive as weaker. As parents, it is our responsibility to love and nurture our children and provide them with a sense of worth so they won’t need to validate themselves at the expense of others.

Advertising

Educators need to monitor and react to bullying at any capacity and demonstrate a zero tolerance for this behavior. If parents and schools work together, we can help prevent suicide in youths as well as prevent the suffering of our children.

More by this author

Why Parental Involvement is Key to Preventing Child Bullying 4 Healthy Ways to Lose Your Excess Weight Without Losing Your Mind How to Improve Your Next Relationship While Still Single

Trending in Child Behavior

1 5 Tips For Teaching Money Management To Children 2 7 Effective Tips for Your Child’s Positive Growth 3 When Should Your Teenager Start Dating? 4 Ten Things To Remember If You Have A Child With ADHD 5 Four Tips to Building Your Child’s Confidence

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

Advertising

The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

Advertising

As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

Advertising

I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

Advertising

The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next