Building on the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada’s previous report, The limits of anti-bullying legislation, this paper explores the body of research on the role of parents and family in contributing to bullying behaviour and in protecting against the negative impact of bullying. We highlight the important role families have in combating the bully problem.
Recommendations are divided into those for parents, educators and government.
- Be proactive in speaking to children about bullying
- Monitor screen time and establish limits and expectations around use of internet devices
- Be intentional in cultivating primary attachment relationships with children and pursue an authoritative parenting style characterized by warm and caring communication with sufficient supervision and clearly expressed expectations and limits
- Facilitate educational opportunities for school staff and parents, connecting stake holders with experts and resources
- Invite parents to partner in developing a school response to bullying behaviour
- Legislate very cautiously and promote community based responses
- Consider parents as the primary educator when developing education policy, evaluating how policy initiatives empower parents
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