Making it ALL happen. Holiday Overload.

A woman stands in front of a white wall with a frustrated look in her eyes as she buries her chin, mouth, and nose into the neck of her sweater.

No matter where you live or what age your children are, the last eight weeks of the calendar year can become chaotic and frenzied. The people around us are hustling and bustling and racing in ways that ultimately rub off on us, even if we don’t share or practice the same holiday festivities. All of that hustling can make us feel like we are on constant overload. I know that I have heard myself literally saying out loud to my children, “We just have to concentrate on the very next thing. Just the very next thing.” 

So how do we cope during the hustle and bustle?

Here are a few ideas:

  1. Yes, literally, just focus on and be present in the very next thing. Stay with it, live in it and by all means enjoy and embrace it if it involves your family, friends and children. Give THAT thing your all. The rest can wait.
  2. Grant yourself grace. Sometimes you need a reminder that everything does not and will not be perfectly orchestrated, designed and produced. Just do what you are able and call it good.  (Let someone else load the dishwasher and do NOT go back and re-do it).
  3. Write a 5 minute break in your calendar day. Set a phone alarm or reminder that forces you to stop for a moment and tell yourself that a short break is A-OK.  Deep breathe and drink a large glass of water. Stretch and give yourself a big hug. And if you happen to do it in front of your child then they will also learn that it is alright to give yourself a moment to ‘just be’.

You don’t have to make it ALL happen. Focus on the present, give yourself grace, and take a moment to practice self-care. Bonus: by modeling this during the busy times of year, your kids will learn this approach, too!

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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Consider Giving Kids Less Stuff, More Time during Holidays

A father and his two sons happily wrestle a football from one another while they play in the yard.

Although the holidays can be a season of giving, sometimes the focus shifts to a season of getting, or so it may seem from a child’s perspective. It’s OK to give gifts to our children. We all want to see our children happy, and as parents we give from the goodness of our hearts. However, it’s easy to overdo it, especially around the holidays. This can become a pattern, and before we know it, we’re overindulging our children – giving them too much, too soon and for too long.

Research shows that overindulging children puts them at risk for a variety of negative outcomes, including a need for immediate gratification, an overblown sense of entitlement and a materialistic mindset and goals. Children who are overindulged may have poor self-control, as well as a more difficult time developing adult life skills.  Giving children too much stuff is just one form of overindulgence. Other forms include soft structure, meaning a lack of rules and responsibilities, and over-nurturing – doing things for children that they should be doing themselves.

So how can parents know whether they are crossing the line into overindulging their children?

Researchers Jean Illsley Clarke, David J. Bredehoft and Connie Dawson started the Overindulgence Project – Overindulgence.info – in 1996, studying the relationship between childhood overindulgence and subsequent adult problems and parenting practices. To date, they have completed 10 studies investigating overindulgence involving more than 3,500 participants.

The researchers suggest parents ask themselves four questions:

  • Do these gifts use a disproportionate amount of family resources?
  • Does what I am doing harm others, society or the planet?
  • Does this meet my needs (as the adult) more than the needs of my child?
  • Does it hinder my child from learning developmental tasks?

If parents answer yes to one or more of these questions, they probably are overindulging their children. However, there are some simple ways to get back on the right track.

  • First of all, if you have been overindulgent, take responsibility. Being in denial about it means that you can’t change anything.
  • Second, forgive yourself. If you’ve gone overboard in the past, don’t beat yourself up about it. Look at how you can move forward, do things differently and learn from your previous experience.
  • Next, work on one problem area at a time. Don’t try to suddenly change everything about your parenting style at once, as that will likely be too overwhelming. Maybe you start by deciding not to give your children so much stuff – toys, electronics, etc. – this holiday season, but consider giving them the gift of your time. For example, parents could create a “gift certificate” for a parent and child lunch date, or plan for an afternoon playing board games or having a baking day together. Or start even smaller and decide you won’t give in to your child’s next temper tantrum at the grocery store.

Just because you’ve overindulged your children in the past, doesn’t mean your children have been damaged forever. You can get back on track and raise your children to become responsible adults who show respect for others.
Share with us how you have takes steps to work on overindulging your children. Your ideas may help others!


This blog was originally posted on 12/21/16: Consider Giving Kids Less Stuff, More Time during Holidays

Mackenzie Johnson

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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It Can Be Hard, but We Are Thankful

Happy African American girl holding 'I'm thankful' sign and looking at camera during Thanksgiving meal with her parents.

Around Thanksgiving time, we are surrounded with messages about thankfulness. As parents, people often remind us to fully enjoy the moments with our kids because time is fleeting. While there is truth to this, at Science of Parenting we want to look at research and REALITY. We recognize that raising children can be so rewarding, but we know there are times when it’s just plain hard.

We recently added another child to our family, and let me tell you, I am basking in sweet smiles, coos, and little milestones these days. But I’m also navigating some tough stuff like a nighttime waking, spending quality time with all my kids, and finding a new routine.  On the average day my feelings can flip from exhausted to ecstatic to emotional pretty quickly.

Even if you didn’t recently add another child to your family, most of us can relate to a mixed bag of feelings that parenting can bring. At Science of Parenting, we recognize the REALITY that sometimes parenting can be so hard. It can challenge us in ways we didn’t know were even possible. And then there are the moments that we are just lit up with joy from our children. For instance, my daughter recently mastered galloping, and watching her practice her new skill makes me smile daily. It’s such a simple thing, but it brings me so much joy!

So this Thanksgiving, Science of Parenting encourages you to find those parenting moments you feel grateful for, but it’s okay if that’s not every moment of every day. And when you are having those tough moments and questions, remember that Science of Parenting is full of resources you can explore. If you have a specific question, we have a hotline for home and family questions called Answerline (1-800-262-3804 in Iowa).

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Mackenzie Johnson

Mackenzie Johnson

Parent to a little one with her own quirks. Celebrator of the concept of raising kids “from scratch”. Learner and lover of the parent-child relationship. Translator of research with a dose of reality. Certified Family Life Educator.

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Well-being During the Holidays

As I look at the calendar and think about the upcoming opportunities to celebrate with family and friends, I can feel a bit overwhelmed. The thought of keeping a clean house, purchasing food, and preparing for the many holiday meals that are shared reminds me that perhaps I can shake the overwhelm by practicing some self-care and goal setting.

Smart phone, coffee, pen and notepad with text " to do list", retro style

 Are you someone that makes lists of the things that you must accomplish? A to-do list is something that helps us stay on track. It is very easy to get distracted at work, home, and even at school. My sister refers to distractions as “shiny objects.” As a parent, she has learned to limit the “shiny object” distractions so that her boys can stay “on track.”

Prioritizing our to-do list or plan may be a needed step! How do you go about deciding what to accomplish first? Some say to do the easiest tasks first and cross them off your list. Others would advise to do the most difficult tasks when you are at your freshest. Some folks are best and brightest first thing in the morning. Others feel that the morning is a time for waking up and get their energy in the afternoon. Try to identify the time you work best and then get at it and use your energy to tackle your list. Also, break your list down into chunks: “Here is what I want to accomplish today” and “By the end of the week I will accomplish…”

Alongside the list, a few self-care rituals may assist you in handling the stress you may feel this time of year. Do you like to wake before your family to have a few moments to yourself? Do you like to find some time for exercise, maybe a quick walk after supper? Do you practice any deep breathing techniques? The self-care principals we practice can help us feel more centered and ready to tackle our lists of responsibilities.

Did you know at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, our Human Sciences specialists deliver an engaging well-being series called What About Me: My Well-being. This series focuses on more than simply nutrition and health. This series also highlights our social/emotional well-being; purpose; and financial well-being. We work alongside community organizations and work sites to deliver this free series.

Don’t let the time of year and all the tasks before you overwhelm you and steal your joy. Instead make your list, practice self-care, and remember, your friends at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach have many resources to offer!

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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Holiday Tears and Tantrums

During the holiday season, watch for signs of stress in your children.  It can be a time of too little sleep and quiet moments and too much excitement, activity, and food. Is it any wonder the tears and tantrums come easily? No, I’m not talking about you – I’m thinking about the children. So here are five things I’ve found that children need during the holidays.

A small girl cries and clings too the feet of her mother

Children need consistency. Keep bedtime rituals like stories and games. Spend time cuddling on the couch. Extra hugs are in order. If you are away from home during the holidays, pack a special blankie, pillow, or stuffed toy that is a visible reminder of sameness. Children may have trouble sleeping after a big day so having a little gift or treat can help ease them into bedtime.

Children like to be part of what is happening. The “getting to help” is more important than the end product. Remind yourself everything doesn’t have to be perfect.  Look for things the children can do and don’t get uptight about messy packages or frosting on everything but the cookies.

Children want to know what is going on. Tell them where the family is going, who will be there, what will happen.  Take time to talk with them about the holiday rituals your family observes and why these are special to your family.

Children need their space. Too many people can result in overstimulation. That’s when the tears and tantrums start in. The children may not be used to having lots of extra people around or sharing their bedroom with three cousins. Try involving the children in smaller groups of friends or relatives.

Children need some quiet time. Alternate quiet activities with active ones. You can tell when the children are getting too excited, bored, or tired. Then it is time for a story, nap, or just a few minutes together with you in another room.

Now that I read back through what the children need, I’m thinking maybe it does apply to us adults too! How do you help your children enjoy the holidays in a nonstressful way?


This blog was originally posted on 12/15/11: Holiday Tears and Tantrums

Donna Donald

Donna Donald

Donna Donald is a Human Sciences specialist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who has spent her career working with families across the lifespan. She believes families are defined by function as well as form. Donna entered parenthood as a stepmother to three daughters and loves being a grandmother of seven young adults.

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Expressing Thanks and Practicing Generosity

Each year, as the month of November nears, I begin thinking about the Thanksgiving traditions that have been so meaningful for my family over the years. The annual “turkey trot” walk / run happens each year at the high school I attended. Another amazing tradition – a local volunteer and her family generously provide a free Thanksgiving Day meal to anyone who attends, no questions asked.

Grandfather and grandmother are taking a selfie with their grandson and granddaughter while out on a walk on a brisk day.

You, too, may have family traditions that are special at this time of year. How can we use this time of year to teach the values of generosity and thankfulness to our family members?  

One way to teach others how to be thankful and generous is to model that behavior during our everyday routines. Children who see their parents volunteering at school, church, or for something in the community learn that good things can happen when people work together. According to The Child Mind Institute, it is normal for children to be self-involved, therefore, parents must intentionally teach how and what service and generosity look like.

Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to think of ways we can give thanks daily! Who are the people in your life that you love and appreciate? Who are the people that cheer you on, encourage you to do your best? The truth is, we can make generosity become a habit by showing gratitude to our own family members first.

Say thank you to your child for keeping the bed made or for helping to clear the table after a family meal. Show appreciation to an older sibling for reading a story to a younger sibling before bed time. In fact, parents may also choose to show gratitude to the school teacher, football coach, or other community members who make a difference in our lives.

It has often been said, we learn what we live, so let us show kindness and gratitude to others during this special time of year, and watch how it becomes a habit for you and your family.

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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Holiday Celebrations: A Choice for Every Family

Not every family will celebrate holidays in the same way. For a variety of reasons, families mark holidays in their own way, and those choices should always come without judgement by others. The Halloween holiday is one of those holidays that some families will celebrate, while others will not. Over the years, the way in which the holiday is celebrated has changed and I applaud the changes as it gives families choices about how to engage.

Boy wearing a cape and mask, dressed as a super hero, takes a superhero stance with an arm in the air.

Some children will dress in costume and travel throughout the neighborhood requesting or has been known, begging, for a piece of candy. In our quest for safety and health, some families have decided to attend trunk or treats in the full daylight to celebrate the holiday. The children can dress up and “beg” for candy, yet the celebration is organized and supervised so that parents can feel better about their child’s safety. According to the Academy of Pediatrics, thinking through costume safety, food allergies, and safety around the home are all important aspects to consider. The National Safety Council also provides helpful information to prepare parents to celebrate with safety.

Another change we may see at Halloween is the transition from candy to other forms of treats including stickers, pencils, and other swag that steer clear from the sugary treats of past Halloweens. As the first educator of their children, I recognize parents who make brave decisions about how to spend precious time with their families at the holidays. Finding ways to celebrate that include extended family and friends may be more meaningful than simply following tradition for traditions sake.

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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Gains from Custodial Grandfamilies & How to Help

Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee

This post is the second in a series on custodial grandparenting, with information from Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee, a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach State Specialist who studies gerontology. Miss last week’s post? Check it out here.

Dr Lee, last week we talked about the importance of sharing information about grandparents that are parenting their grandchildren. This week we would like to focus on some of the great things that occur. What can you share with us?

“You’re right, prior studies have often emphasized stressors and negative outcomes while disregarding the positive aspects of custodial grandfamilies. However, it is common for caregivers to report positive feelings. This includes:

  • The satisfaction of knowing that their loved one is getting excellent care, sensing personal growth, and increased purpose in one’s life.
  • Gratification from passing on a tradition of care and modeling caregiving to their grandchildren has also been reported.
  • Similarly, love for and commitment to a custodial grandchild can lend value and satisfaction to the caregiving role.

Scholars also found that the perception the grandparent has on their experience as a caregiverare associated with positive and negative well-being outcomes respectively among custodial grandparents.(Meaning that grandparents positive perceptions can create positive outcomes).”

What are some things we can do to help grandparents with their caregiving?

“It is important to validate both the positive and negative emotions expressed by custodial grandparents, explore the sources of these emotions, and help these grandparents stay positive. Assisting grandparents to modify their own expectations for caregiving is a worthy task, as the situation itself cannot necessarily be changed.”


Whitley, D. M., & Fuller-Thomson, E. (2017). African–American solo grandparents raising grandchildren: A representative profile of their health status. Journal of community health42(2), 312-323.

Custodial Grandparents, Parenting Stress, and the Loss of Self

Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee

This week and next, we welcome Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee, a Human Sciences Extension and Outreach State Specialist who studies gerontology. She will share her research on custodial grandfamilies and the stress, loss, and gains of this responsibility. Below is an excerpted interview.

Dr. Lee, please share with us some general information about grandparents raising their grandchildren.

“Interest in custodial grandfamilies, defined as those where grandparents provide full time care without significant involvement by grandchildren’s biological parents, has soared over the past quarter century. Currently, there are more than 2.7 million custodial grand family households in the United States serving as primary caregivers for their grandchildren without the presence of the grandchild’s parents (US census, 2012); 63% are grandmothers and 35% are grandparents of color (Whitely, 2017). Parental substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, and child abuse/neglect are the predominant reasons grandparents are raising custodial grandchildren.”

Why is grandparents raising grandchildren something that we should give special attention to?

“Managing the care of custodial grandchildren (CGC) often requires constant attention and extensive resources. Scholars who observed grandfamilies argue that raising grandchildren can provide both emotional, physical, and financial challenges, but also provides many rewards.”

What are some challenges grandparents face?

“Part of the challenges come from the perspective of retirement. Most grandparents are at the stage where they could enjoy retirement or have other life plans but must forgo these plans and readjust their roles as parents. Given that grandparents may have different parenting strategies from current parents, this lack of knowledge or skills may also create some conflicts between generations.”

Reaching out to grandparents that are parenting their grandchildren is an important topic for communities to consider. Their challenges are unique and need focused attention.

Next week, Dr. Lee will discuss what is gained from custodial grandfamilies as well as the practical implications.


Kreider, R. M., & Ellis, R. (2011). Living arrangements of children: 2009 (Current Population Reports, P70-126). Washington, DC: U. S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p70-126.pdf

Whitley, D. M., & Fuller-Thomson, E. (2017). African–American solo grandparents raising grandchildren: A representative profile of their health status. Journal of community health42(2), 312-323.

Grandfamilies 2.0

A tall teenager wearing a suit and tie stands between his grandfather and grandmother, who are looking up at him with pride.

Isn’t that a great word? I’m still smiling typing it. I found it on the AARP website while I was looking for statistics. According to their site, 4.9 million children under the age of 18 live with their grandparents. Thus making them ‘grandfamilies’ . In fact to quote the site, “As increasing numbers of grandchildren rely on grandparents for the security of a home, their grandparents are taking on more of the responsibility for raising them in a tough economy — many with work challenges of their own. For these grandparents, raising another family wasn’t part of the plan. But they step up to the plate when their loved ones need them.”

Grandfamilies, yes that’s a great word for those that are stepping up to take care of family members in need. Celebrate their commitment to family. Share their stories of greatness here.

This blog was originally posted on Nov. 15, 2013: Grandfamilies

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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Taking Time with the Grandkids 2.0

As we come into a season of spending time with family I thought I would dig into how to manage those times of ‘togetherness’. Grandparents and grandchildren can be both excited and nervous to spend time together during family functions. Children may exhibit behavior grandparents aren’t used to and that can be a confusing dilemma. Extension.org has a great article on understanding children’s behavior during these exciting family times.

Understanding Grandchildren’s Behaviors

A close up image shows a grandmother and grandfather sitting on a couch with their two granddaughters, smiling and laughing with one another.

Don’t get me wrong, spending time together with extended can be a fabulous time. In fact another article I read made me smile and think of how much I miss my own grandparents and the wonderful stories they told.

Stories about Granparents and Grandchildren

I am grateful for the many stories I heard, for grandparents that understood my nervous behaviors and for countless times spent with extended family members.

This blog was originally posted on Nov. 28, 2013: Taking Time with the Grandkids

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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School Success and Grandparents 2.0

Grandparents have always been an important part of children’s lives. In fact,  many schools celebrated grandparents day on Sept 9th this year. In celebration of grandparents and in keeping with the theme of school, here are a few tips on how grandparents can help children this school year.

Grandfather and granddaughter are seated at the kitchen table while looking at homework. Grandfather is marking the workbook with a blue colored pencil while grandaughter observes.
  • Ask. But ask specifically!  Rather than ask how school is going, be specific. Ask children what book they are reading, what their favorite part of the school day is, or what they are studying in a particular subject.
  • Praise. Not for their accomplishments but for their EFFORT! Praise them for the long hours they put into their studies. For eating that breakfast that helps their brain or simply for sharing their activities with grandpa and grandma!
  • Participate.  Visit or volunteer for activities or functions. Be a guest speaker. Or even join the class online blogs and discussion boards.
  • Read. Share stories both written and verbal with your grandchild. Write them notes, letters or emails.
  • Plan. Encourage your grandchildren to think about their future plans and goals. Let your grandkids know you believe in them and the importance of trying their best.

“If you as a grandparent are raising your grandchildren, remember that it is important to know the child’s school and teachers. Get involved in your grandchildren’s homework, make school work a priority and stay in contact with the school.”

How have grandparents impacted your child’s school success?

This blog was originally posted on Sept. 20, 2012: School Success and Grandparents

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Lori Hayungs, M.S.

Mother of three. Lover of all things child development related. Fascinated by temperament and brain development. Professional background with families, child care providers, teachers and community service entities.

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That’s What Grandparents Are For!

Burgers and mashed potatoes for lunch. Solving math problems on the back of an old envelope. Horse-back and combine rides.

Grandfather is standing waist high in lake and is throwing his grandson into the air.

When I think of growing up and going to my grandparents’ house, these are the things that come to mind. What memories do you have of time spent with your grandparents? If you have grandkids, what are your favorite activities to do with them? If I asked my parents, I’m sure they’d say time spent in Okoboji would be on the top of their list with my niece and nephews.

Over the next few weeks, we will share some throwback posts with great information on grand parenting! Following these, we will hear from Dr. Jeongeun (Jel) Lee on her current work in grandfamilies, or families where grandparents are the primary caregivers of their grandchildren.

Mackenzie DeJong

Mackenzie DeJong

Aunt of four unique kiddos. Passionate about figuring how small brains develop, process, and differ. Human Sciences Specialist, Family Life in western Iowa with a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences and Design minor.

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Don’t Bully, Be Friendly

Five students walk towards the stairs in front of their school building, all wearing backpacks. The two girls in the back are chatting with each other.

The first few weeks of school have come and gone, and you may have had conversations about the classmates your children have interacted with whether playing at recess, sharing the lunch table or perhaps in reading circles. As your children spend more time away from home, they will engage with children who may or may not have positive social skills. Last week we explored the issue of the school bully. The way in which some children respond to situations and exert their personal power over others in their quest to get their own way. The bully may use strategies that cause others to be fearful or even sad.

Learning to make friends is one of those life skills that all of us go through from time to time. Building relationships that last takes patience, understanding and a good amount of effort! As young people meet new friends, they are challenged to communicate positively and make a good first impression. Children interested in building relationships could consider the following friendship tips:

  • Be accepting – before trying to change your friends, try first accepting them for who they are
  • Listen to your friends
  • Ask your friends questions about themselves and don’t make the focus of the conversation just on you
  • Be honest with your friend
  • If you are working together on a project, be helpful and do your part
  • Greet new people first. Don’t wait for someone to greet you, take the initiative and greet others, making them feel welcome and accepted

As parents, in order to find out what is going on at school, may I suggest family conversations about how the school day progresses. Perhaps inquiring about the friendships that are blooming and how the children are feeling about classmates they interact with daily.  I am convinced that as a school community, we can promote a healthy culture of social behaviors where all children can thrive and develop to their fullest potential.

For more on managing stress and building relationships:

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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When is it Bullying?

Four children are walking toward a yellow school bus.

As the school year begins, I am reminded that children may experience classmates who use bullying tactics to get what they want or need in the school setting. These situations may cause your child to feel upset and you might not even know why. According to information shared on StopBullying.gov there are two types of children who might be more likely to bully – those who feel socially isolated from their peers and those individuals who have social power.

In addition, children who bully may show signs of aggression or become easily frustrated. Perhaps they have a low sense of self-worth; or have difficulty following rules. A child’ size may not be a characteristic that is readily noticeable in all bullies. In fact all children, both boys and girls, can bully. If you or your child has never been impacted by bullying, it might be because you have coping or refusal skills that you have used to defend yourself.

Bullying is when a child is a target, over time, of repeated negative actions. A bully is:

  • A child who is aggressive for rewards or attention
  • A child who lacks empathy and has difficulty feeling compassion for other children
  • A child who does not feel guilty
  • A child who likes to be in charge, to be the “boss”
  • A child whose parent(s) or other guardian, often models aggression
  • A child who thinks in unrealistic ways – “I should always get what I want!”
  • A bully fully believes that the victim provoked the attack and deserved to be bullied       
  • A bully likes to win in all situations

Who are bullies? Both boys and girls bully others! Many times, boys will admit to being a bully and will use physical force to bully. Girls use verbal threats and intimidation to bully others.

What type of children are likely to be victims? A child who is:

  • Isolated and alone during most of the school days
  • Anxious, insecure and has trouble making friends
  • Is small or weak and unable to defend him/herself
  • Cries easily, gives in when bullied, unable to stick up for themselves
  • May have suffered past abuse at home

What can we do when we suspect a child is bullying another child?

We must communicate a ZERO tolerance policy for bullying, it just will not be tolerated at school, home, after school or in our community. We must talk to children about appropriate behaviors. And we must teach our children appropriate coping skills so that they can defend themselves when attacked. Children will stop bullying when it stops working. As adults we must have heart to heart discussions with our children about behaviors they exhibit and see exhibited in their classrooms. We can make a difference, one child at a time.

Source: https://www.stopbullying.gov/

Barb Dunn Swanson

Barb Dunn Swanson

With two earned degrees from Iowa State University, Barb is a Human Sciences Specialist utilizing her experience working alongside communities to develop strong youth and families! With humor and compassion, she enjoys teaching, listening and learning to learn!

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