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Curbing bullying at home

Author John Thompson
Submitted 11-11-2010

It seems like bullying has gotten more common and more vicious in recent years.

Cell phones, texting and social networking have given bullies new vehicles to use in their mental and emotional humiliation and harassment.

Old fashioned, in-person bullying is also thriving, many times causing targets both physical and mental wounds.

But children may not only be subjected to bullies at school, on the bus or in social situations. Sibling bullying is alive and well and can be happening right under fathers' noses.

An Italian study recently found that big brothers are more likely than big sisters to bully younger siblings.

"It's likely that older sisters are raised to be responsible and protective towards their younger siblings," study author Dr Ersilia Menesini said. "Older brothers are more likely to be hierarchical and seek to dominate these relationships and maintain this with daily bullying."

According to BullySolutions.com, "No one knows better than a brother or sister how to aggravate and annoy a brother or sister. Some amount of fighting and conflict is inevitable, but if one of your children is consistently being hurt, or spending time crying because of name-calling, teasing or taunting by the other, things have moved beyond sibling conflict and into sibling bullying. "

Fathers who notice sibling bullying must intervene to keep their homes peaceful.

Parenting advice experts recommend dads discuss the problem openly with their families and set firm household rules. Enforcing the rules each time they're broken is also necessary. However, good behavior exhibited by the bullying sibling should be rewarded, as well.