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We need to understand bullying as a form of aggression and learning life stills will help stop bulling.

Bullying is verbal and physical aggression toward others that are often weaker, smaller, less aggressive, and more easily intimidated.  

Stop Bullying Using Life SkillsIt is the opposite of empathy and cooperation and is lower on the developmental scale, representing the skills of a two year old.  Therefore to change the developmental skill level of a bully and stop bullying using life skills, the teacher of developmental skills (parent, mentor, therapist, or teacher) must go back to the level of the child in question and move forward teaching the appropriate developmental skills in their appropriate sequence.  

For example, a child uses 1 word, then 2 words together, then sentences, then engages in problem solving with others and has empathy.  All children are aggressive until they are about 3 years old.  

They are tiny bullies because they do not know how to behave differently and that is why you must stop bullying using life skills.  

This is primarily because young children use more primitive skills to get their needs met, such as taking what they want from others.   Language and negotiation skills have not yet developed.  

From the ages of 3 to 5 children need to be taught that there are other ways to get their needs met than by aggression. They need to learn to communicate, problem solve, sooth themselves when upset, manage their anger, and wait for what they want.  Teaching these skills is usually the job of parents and grandparents.

When children live in a household where the adults solve their problems through violence, belittling, and bullying each other, the children may not learn these other ways to get their needs met.  Therefore, they continue to use the only method they know, intimidating or hurting someone else, to get what they need.  Again, this is why it’s important to stop bullying using life skills.

If the adults in the household are unable to teach their children effective coping skills, children remain aggressive up until school age (Tremblay, et. al., 2004).  If the children continue to be aggressive in elementary school and are not taught good coping skills, such as communication, problem solving, and perspective taking, they will continue to be aggressive, often for a lifetime (Moffit and Caspi, 2001).

As a society, we need to make sure that children from every background get the services they need (mental health or developmental) as early as possible in their lives. We know how to prevent youth violence from happening. 

Home visiting programs, such as Healthy Families, for young families that have problems with substance abuse, violence, and limited coping skills is a proven program to prevent and stop bullying using life skills.

Head Start with parent involvement is a proven program to reduce childhood aggression and delinquency.  Mentoring programs can be effective, as well.  These prevention programs need to be universal. How do we do that when important programs are being significantly cut? Some think we can cut these programs because everyone has an equal chance to succeed in America, but the playing field is not even for those children coming from violent and chaotic families. This is another reason by it’s critical to stop bullying using life skills

kathy seifert, ph.d.Dr. Kathryn Seifert , Executive Director of Eastern Shore Psychological Services, has worked for over 30 years in the areas of mental health, criminal justice, and addictions and has provided treatment and assessment services to youth and adults in community settings.

She holds a Ph.D. and is a licensed psychologist in Maryland. Dr. Seifert has specialized in the assessment and treatment of youth and adults. She has lectured both nationally and internationally and provides training on the topics of “Assessing the Risk for Violence,” “Attachment Disorders,” and “Attachment Violence & Assessment.”

Her books and CD’s include: How Children Become Violent, Youth Violence, and Relax. Her blog can be found on the Psychology Today website . She has appeared on CNN and Discovery ID.

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