Clinical Expertise

Home is a safe place

When our kids were younger we made a point of saying to them that we stick together as a family and do not pick on each other. The world can be a tough place, there may be bullies at school but home is a Safe Place.  We support and encourage each other at home so that we can go out and face the world. We did not just talk about it but handed out discipline for anyone that violated that principal. 

I read with interest the recent article about kids being bullied by siblings at home. Researchers found that bullying at home can have the same severe consequences as bullying at school.  Science confirms what my mother’s heart already knew.

I often see kids that are bullied at school and they desperately need for home to be a place of restoration. A small comment from a stronger sibling can actually be the final knockout punch in a long day of difficult encounters.  So parents; let’s not just walk away and “let the kids figure it out” but rather stay vigilant in keeping home a Safe Place.

Here is part of the article: “A new study just out in the journal “Pediatrics” addresses that gap, using findings from a national survey of children and their caregivers. It found that, just like bullying by peers, bullying by siblings causes significant mental distress and worsens the victims’ emotional health. Bottom line:

The authors concluded that parents, pediatricians and the public should treat sibling aggression as potentially harmful, and not dismiss it as normal, minor, or even beneficial, and this message should be included in parenting education.

Corinna Jenkins Tucker, associate professor of family studies at the University of New Hampshire and the paper’s lead author, suggests that it’s time for the new norms that condemn school bullying to stop making an exception for siblings.

Sibling aggression has “generally gone unrecognized and dismissed,” she said in a phone interview. “Our findings suggest that it should not be dismissed and it’s in fact not benign.”

Posted in: Parenting, Research

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: