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Poor Parenting, Including Overprotection, Increases Bullying Risk

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Children who are exposed to negative parenting – including abuse, neglect but also overprotection – are more likely to experience childhood bullying by their peers, according to a meta-analysis of 70 studies of more than 200,000 children.

The research, led by the University of Warwick and published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect, found the effects of poor parenting were stronger for children who are both a victim and perpetrator of bulling (bully-victims) than children who were solely victims.

It found that negative or harsh parenting was linked to a moderate increase in the risk of being a 'bully-victim' and a small increase in the risk of being a victim of bullying. In contrast, warm but firm parenting reduced the risk of being bullied by peers.

The study authors, Professor Dieter Wolke, Dr Suzet Lereya and Dr Muthanna Samara, called for anti-bullying intervention programmes to extend their focus beyond schools to focus on positive parenting within families and to start before children enter school.

Professor Wolke said: "The long shadow of bullying falls well beyond the school playground – it has lasting and profound effects into adulthood.

"We know that victims and bully-victims are more likely to develop physical health problems, suffer from anxiety and depression and are also at increased risk of self-harm and suicide.

"It is vital we understand more about the factors linked to bullying in order to reduce the burden it places on the affected children and society.

"People often assume bullying is a problem for schools alone but it's clear from this study that parents also have a very important role to play.

"We should therefore target intervention programmes not just in schools but also in families to encourage positive parenting practices such as warmth, affection, communication and support."

The study categorised behaviours such as abuse/neglect, maladaptive parenting and overprotection as negative parenting behaviour.

It categorised authoritative parenting, parent-child communication, parental involvement and support, supervision and warmth and affection as positive parenting behaviours.

Professor Wolke highlighted the finding that overprotection was linked to an increased risk of bullying.

"Although parental involvement, support and high supervision decrease the chances of children being involved in bullying, for victims overprotection increased this risk.

"Children need support but some parents try to buffer their children from all negative experiences.

"In the process, they prevent their children from learning ways of dealing with bullies and make them more vulnerable.

"It could be that children with overprotective parents may not develop qualities such as autonomy and assertion and therefore may be easy targets for bullies.

"But it could also be that parents of victims become overprotective of their children.

"In either case, parents cannot sit on the school bench with their children.

"Parenting that includes clear rules about behaviour while being supportive and emotionally warm is most likely to prevent victimisation.

"These parents allow children to have some conflicts with peers to learn how to solve them rather than intervene at the smallest argument."

Tough love, in the form of saying no once and a while is good for kids. So is a strategically placed smack.

Too many friends and relatives have spoiled theirs and the bad behaviour manifests itself heavily at puberty. Every time.

Plus those that spoiled, like yuppies with single children, get it especially bad.

I can't comment on the other end, the beat up kids and ones with cigarette burns on the arms etc... Don't know many monsters.

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I'm not sure they should eradicate bullying. It is how animals find a natural order. Prepares them for the world of work.

EDIT: Not animals going to work...you know what I mean. ;)

Fighting yes. Bullying no.

Most of my best mates managed to blacken an eye in return for a burst nose. We are still pals decades later.

The evil kunts who made life a misery are still miserable, if still alive.

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Tough love, in the form of saying no once and a while is good for kids. So is a strategically placed smack.

Too many friends and relatives have spoiled theirs and the bad behaviour manifests itself heavily at puberty. Every time.

Plus those that spoiled, like yuppies with single children, get it especially bad.

I can't comment on the other end, the beat up kids and ones with cigarette burns on the arms etc... Don't know many monsters.

No. Hitting children is wrong. That is bullying, and such children are more likely to go and bully/assault others as well as suffer the consequences of their behaviour. As a parent you have no shortage of levers available to teach your children good behaviour. Hitting them is immoral, counterproductive and an admission of failure.

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No. Hitting children is wrong. That is bullying, and such children are more likely to go and bully/assault others as well as suffer the consequences of their behaviour.

Complete nonsense.

My parents smacked me when I misbehaved as a child and I still grew up well balanced. I never bullied anyone and have only used violence in a couple of situations where it was pure last resort self defence.

The same applies to all my good friends, they all got their fair share of smacks from their parents when they were children (as was common in the '70s / '80s) and none of them has become a bully or a violent person.

What's important is that the smacking is justified (i.e. that the child understands why it deserved it) and that it's not excessive and of course that the child also receives plenty of love from their parents.

Lack of parental love and attention causes bullies, not justified smacking.

---

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No. Hitting children is wrong. That is bullying, and such children are more likely to go and bully/assault others as well as suffer the consequences of their behaviour. As a parent you have no shortage of levers available to teach your children good behaviour. Hitting them is immoral, counterproductive and an admission of failure.

Theoretical B/S

Nothing to back it up.

Parents have always 'used the rod'

Even animals use force to their young

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Complete nonsense.

My parents smacked me when I misbehaved as a child and I still grew up well balanced. I never bullied anyone and have only used violence in a couple of situations where it was pure last resort self defence.

The same applies to all my good friends, they all got their fair share of smacks from their parents when they were children (as was common in the '70s / '80s) and none of them has become a bully or a violent person.

What's important is that the smacking is justified (i.e. that the child understands why it deserved it) and that it's not excessive and of course that the child also receives plenty of love from their parents.

Lack of parental love and attention causes bullies, not justified smacking.

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Smacking makes children naughtier: research

Research on toddlers and other studies following children into adolescence found physical punishment was bad for children and made them more likely to show anti-social behaviour.

As I remember from the 70s and 80s, it was generally the bullies who had arseholes as parents. Violence begets violence.

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As I remember from the 70s and 80s, it was generally the bullies who had arseholes as parents. Violence begets violence.

You didn't read my post, I said exactly the same, arsehole parents, raise bullies. Smacking your child when it's justified doesn't make you an arsehole parent at all.

It's lack of love and attention towards your children that makes you an arsehole parent!

For example I consider sending a 2 or 3 year old to a nursery or daycare facility very bad parenting, IMHO a child needs to have at least one of the parents around until it's at least 4-5 years old.

---

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You didn't read my post, I said exactly the same, arsehole parents, raise bullies. Smacking your child when it's justified doesn't make you an arsehole parent at all.

It's lack of love and attention towards your children that makes you an arsehole parent!

For example I consider sending a 2 or 3 year old to a nursery or daycare facility very bad parenting, IMHO a child needs to have at least one of the parents around until it's at least 4-5 years old.

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By arseholes, I meant the ones that yell at and hit their children. Sorry for not being more specific. Yes, love and attention is essential, and yes, most children who are smacked will not be permanently damaged - kids are generally pretty resilient - but smacking is not generally helpful. That much is as good as proven by research such as in the link that I posted.

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I'm not sure they should eradicate bullying. It is how animals find a natural order. Prepares them for the world of work.

There's a thin line between bullying and being put in place by your peer group.

Besides, bullying is another word which has been missused and the card played so much we can't read it anymore.

For instance, all these X Factor wannabes with their tales of being bullied at school. Some may have suffered, some may bring it on themselves.

If you flounce into class with fake hair, ridiculous amounts of make up and announce that despite having no musical talent or knowledge about music theory, that you are a diva who will one day be a superstar and therefore superior to your classmates.

Is it any surprise that you are taken to task by you peers and ridiculed? What should they say? Good luck you are The Special One, we are not worthy.

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smacking is not generally helpful. That much is as good as proven by research such as in the link that I posted.

When it comes to social studies you can prove everything and the opposite of everything. I trust my experience and that of my friends far more than politically motivated studies.

Over the last few decades there has been a big drive by the TPTB to make children objects of the state, both to increase the work force and to better control and manipulate children from a young age and of course to weaken family bonds which increases people's dependency from the state.

Don't fall for it.

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I'm not sure they should eradicate bullying. It is how animals find a natural order. Prepares them for the world of work.

EDIT: Not animals going to work...you know what I mean. ;)

Theoretical B/S

Nothing to back it up.

Parents have always 'used the rod'

Even animals use force to their young

It's funny how so many supporters of smacking justify their positions in terms of animal behaviour. Presumably you also believe that, like many animals, we should also kill and eat our young in times of stress?

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When it comes to social studies you can prove everything and the opposite of everything. I trust my experience and that of my friends far more than politically motivated studies.

Over the last few decades there has been a big drive by the TPTB to make children objects of the state, both to increase the work force and to better control and manipulate children from a young age and of course to weaken family bonds which increases people's dependency from the state.

Don't fall for it.

I'm guessing that any science that happens to disprove your arguments must be politically motivated?

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I'm guessing that any science that happens to disprove your arguments must be politically motivated?

Social studies are not science, physics, maths, chemistry are sciences.

I say it again:

When it comes to social studies (and other so called 'soft sciences') you can prove everything and the opposite of everything.

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It's funny how so many supporters of smacking justify their positions in terms of animal behaviour. Presumably you also believe that, like many animals, we should also kill and eat our young in times of stress?

OK, it's funny

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I agree with Snowflux that it is wrong.

However it is also ineffective if more than once or twice in a childhood.

Extremely quickly kids get innured to corporal punishment and the most damaging aspect of smacking is that it teaches children that violence is always an option. In many cases it leads to children smacking other children for 'being naughty' and getting into more trouble.

I speak from personal experience - I wish I'd never smacked my kids.

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Social studies are not science, physics, maths, chemistry are sciences.

I say it again:

When it comes to social studies (and other so called 'soft sciences') you can prove everything and the opposite of everything.

Can you prove that?

People are debating at the extremes - this stuff only matters because there's a fear the state will impose values on families.

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I'm a parent who occasionally uses a smacked bum, and when I say occasionally I mean that my 10 year old can count the number of smacked bums he's had on his fingers. It's how my kids know when they've been really naughty, rather than mischievous.

Used properly and sparingly I'm of the opinion that it is an effective deterrent to bad behaviour and is very effective at drawing a line. With regards to bullying my son knows it is wrong. He's a very big kid, and very powerful physically, but as gentle as they come generally. He knows if I ever found out he was bullying he'd be in serious trouble. And he really doesn't want a smacked bum.

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I'm a parent who occasionally uses a smacked bum, and when I say occasionally I mean that my 10 year old can count the number of smacked bums he's had on his fingers. It's how my kids know when they've been really naughty, rather than mischievous.

Used properly and sparingly I'm of the opinion that it is an effective deterrent to bad behaviour and is very effective at drawing a line. With regards to bullying my son knows it is wrong. He's a very big kid, and very powerful physically, but as gentle as they come generally. He knows if I ever found out he was bullying he'd be in serious trouble. And he really doesn't want a smacked bum.

My own father was a smacker, and I still despise him for it. I don't remember learning any particular lessons from being smacked, but I do remember feeling cowed, humiliated and angry. After one smacking I remember going and kicking a dent in his prized vintage car out of helpless rage.

I've rarely felt any urge to smack my own 9-year-old son and have never done so. He's known since an early age that any naughtiness will result in loss of privileges, and is now a very well behaved and well balanced lad. The important things are love, attention and consistency, as many others have mentioned. A little bit of trust goes a long way too.

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My own father was a smacker, and I still despise him for it. I don't remember learning any particular lessons from being smacked, but I do remember feeling cowed, humiliated and angry. After one smacking I remember going and kicking a dent in his prized vintage car out of helpless rage.

I've rarely felt any urge to smack my own 9-year-old son and have never done so. He's known since an early age that any naughtiness will result in loss of privileges, and is now a very well behaved and well balanced lad. The important things are love, attention and consistency, as many others have mentioned. A little bit of trust goes a long way too.

I wouldn't call myself a smacker. I see parenting as complex and difficult, really hard to get right. And there's as much luck as judgment involved. So I think it's cheap and easy to take a shot at any particular style of parenting when the parent is genuinely trying and doing their best. I really disagree that the very occasional smacked bum will make my children violent themselves.

My kids get lots of love, support and attention. If what I do now doesn't work out right in the long run then that's a burden I'll have to bear. But I'm doing my best.

My dad was incredibly authoritarian, and unnecessarily hard on me, now our relationship is stunted. Which upsets me and I know upsets him. That's his burden, and one I hopefully won't have.

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My own father was a smacker, and I still despise him for it. I don't remember learning any particular lessons from being smacked, but I do remember feeling cowed, humiliated and angry. After one smacking I remember going and kicking a dent in his prized vintage car out of helpless rage.

I've rarely felt any urge to smack my own 9-year-old son and have never done so. He's known since an early age that any naughtiness will result in loss of privileges, and is now a very well behaved and well balanced lad. The important things are love, attention and consistency, as many others have mentioned. A little bit of trust goes a long way too.

The sorts of occasions it's most needed are when the child has acted violently towards another sibling or similar. Also, for instance, smacking toddlers hands before they poke something in an electrical fire. Scenarios like this where there isn't time to organise a smiley face sticker reward chart in a woolly attempt to alter a child's behaviour.

I also think, with things like wsticker charts and such, too many of the alternative punishment methods to the traditional ones appear to be no more than bribing kids to get them to behave as parents wish. That may have longer term detrimental effects and anyway there's not enough council planning official roles for them once they've become accustomed to this way of life.

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The sorts of occasions it's most needed are when the child has acted violently towards another sibling or similar. Also, for instance, smacking toddlers hands before they poke something in an electrical fire. Scenarios like this where there isn't time to organise a smiley face sticker reward chart in a woolly attempt to alter a child's behaviour.

I also think, with things like wsticker charts and such, too many of the alternative punishment methods to the traditional ones appear to be no more than bribing kids to get them to behave as parents wish. That may have longer term detrimental effects and anyway there's not enough council planning official roles for them once they've become accustomed to this way of life.

I've never used a sticker book or the like. If my lad does something wrong, he loses TV for a week or, more recently, internet access. Smacking is mostly just laziness on the part of parents; it's a lot more work to maintain a proper punishment, but it has to be done if that's what you said. Never threaten a punishment you're not prepared to carry through. You soon find that if you're consistent, your child very quickly learns to listen to you and the punishments are not actually necessary.

As for the toddler and electric fire, you grab them, pull them away, and tell them it will hurt. If they're too young to understand that, then you've no business letting them near the fire. That's what fire guards are for.

It has to be said that my eyes were opened in Germany. Before I went there, I'd sort of assumed that it was normal to smack children. Over there, as in many European countries, it's not only socially unacceptable to smack children, but also illegal. And there I met some of the most polite, friendly and confident kids you're ever likely to see, especially if you live in the UK.

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I've never used a sticker book or the like. If my lad does something wrong, he loses TV for a week or, more recently, internet access. Smacking is mostly just laziness on the part of parents; it's a lot more work to maintain a proper punishment, but it has to be done if that's what you said. Never threaten a punishment you're not prepared to carry through. You soon find that if you're consistent, your child very quickly learns to listen to you and the punishments are not actually necessary.

As for the toddler and electric fire, you grab them, pull them away, and tell them it will hurt. If they're too young to understand that, then you've no business letting them near the fire. That's what fire guards are for.

It has to be said that my eyes were opened in Germany. Before I went there, I'd sort of assumed that it was normal to smack children. Over there, as in many European countries, it's not only socially unacceptable to smack children, but also illegal. And there I met some of the most polite, friendly and confident kids you're ever likely to see, especially if you live in the UK.

If the child has just bitten their brother, for example, missing a bit of TV isn't going to look fair in the eyes of the other child or discourage them from enacting their own retribution.

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I've never used a sticker book or the like. If my lad does something wrong, he loses TV for a week or, more recently, internet access. Smacking is mostly just laziness on the part of parents; it's a lot more work to maintain a proper punishment, but it has to be done if that's what you said. Never threaten a punishment you're not prepared to carry through. You soon find that if you're consistent, your child very quickly learns to listen to you and the punishments are not actually necessary.

As for the toddler and electric fire, you grab them, pull them away, and tell them it will hurt. If they're too young to understand that, then you've no business letting them near the fire. That's what fire guards are for.

It has to be said that my eyes were opened in Germany. Before I went there, I'd sort of assumed that it was normal to smack children. Over there, as in many European countries, it's not only socially unacceptable to smack children, but also illegal. And there I met some of the most polite, friendly and confident kids you're ever likely to see, especially if you live in the UK.

Correlation does not imply causation. I'd have thought you'd have understood that.

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It has to be said that my eyes were opened in Germany. Before I went there, I'd sort of assumed that it was normal to smack children. Over there, as in many European countries, it's not only socially unacceptable to smack children, but also illegal. And there I met some of the most polite, friendly and confident kids you're ever likely to see, especially if you live in the UK.

I has only been illegal since 2000, while children in Germany have always been far more polite than in the UK, I spent some time in Germany in the early '90s so I'm talking from personal experience.

In other words the smacking ban has nothing to do with the politeness of the children.

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The sorts of occasions it's most needed are when the child has acted violently towards another sibling or similar.

I have this image of a parent saying "Violence is wrong" - smack - smack - smack.

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  • 244 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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