Parents who don’t want their children to become bullies should stay positive, talk to their kids and meet their children’s friends.
That’s according to new research presented today (May 1) at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver. Using data from a nationally representative phone survey, researchers found that some factors—including parents who frequently feel angry or bothered by their children—raise the risk that a child will become a bully. But other parenting behaviors protect kids from taunting others.
“The protective factors that I think can really be helpful, if we can focus on building them, is having parents who share ideas, talk well or very well with their child, and have met most or all of their child’s friends,” study researcher Rashmi Shetgiri of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas told LiveScience. The focus, she said, should be “helping parents to manage the negative emotions that they may have.”