Parents' contribution to reducing bullying among children and adults

Good social skills in children can prevent problem behavior in children and adolescents, including bullying. When children have good social skills, they can put themselves in other children's situations.

Socially competent children manage to make friends and keep friends. These children also manage to solve conflicts they are a part of. They see the consequences of their actions and they take more easily take responsibility for their own contributions to conflicts.

These children have a "social toolkit” they can use when they are with other children.

The home is an important place for children to learn social skills. You as parents are important role models for your children. The development of social skills starts early and developes over time in close interaction with you as parents and other children.

When you, as parents, speak positively about others, you help your child to develop good social skills. When your child comes home and tells about Klara who wasn’t aloud to jump rope with Kari and Bente in a recess, this could be a golden opportunity to talk with your child about what is happening: What do you think happened? How do you think Klara experienced being excluded? Why do you think Kari and Bente did it? What can you do next time you see a pupil being excluded from a game?

When you are thinking aloud about such situations, it is easier for your child reflect upon how it is to be put off, to not have friends and to be a little different. These reflections that you and your child do together, can help your child to intervene next time and support Klara or someone else in a difficult situation.

As parents, you can therefore make a positive contribution to reducing bullying by being good role models for your children and to talk with their child about what happens in their daily lives.