Family responses to bullying

Why governments won’t stop bullying until families step up
November 26, 2012  |  by Peter Jon Mitchell

The Institute of Marriage and Family Canada is engaging the bullying issue in order to promote family responses because this is where real, effective change happens. Below please find an executive summary for our lengthy report, the report itself, a shorter version of the lengthy report and prior research on the same topic. In order to discuss these issues or to arrange an interview please contact us.

Executive Summary

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.

For parents:

  • 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

For educators:

  • 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

For governments:

  • Legislate very cautiously and promote community based responses
  • Consider parents as the primary educator when developing education policy, evaluating how policy initiatives empower parents

Download the full report below

Download PDF:

  Family responses to bullying

Shorter version of lengthy report:

  Want fewer bullies? Expert calls for actively engaged parents

Read our previous report:

The limits of anti-bullying legislation

Permission is granted to reprint or broadcast this information with appropriate attribution to the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada.

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