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Kids Who are Mocked by Parents at Greater Risk of Becoming Bullies

Constant criticism affects the self-esteem of a child, especially when done by parents

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Derisive behaviour is a unique form of parenting that increases the risk of adolescent children adopting inappropriate anger management strategies that increases their risk for peer difficulties. Pixabay

Dear parents, please take note. Kids who are mocked by parents are at a greater risk of becoming bullies and its victim too, researchers said, stressing that many bullies come from hostile, punitive and rejecting backgrounds.

According to experts, derisive behaviour is a unique form of parenting that increases the risk of adolescent children adopting inappropriate anger management strategies that increases their risk for peer difficulties.

“Constant criticism affects the self-esteem of a child, especially when done by parents. Children tend to feel inferior and lose their sense of confidence. This affects their relationship with parents, making them more vulnerable to various other forms of bullying that happen through their peers.

“Due to hesitation in seeking help, children end up enduring bullying. This has a long-term negative effect on their psyche and overall personality development,” Samir Parikh, Consultant Psychiatrist at Fortis Hospital in Delhi, told IANS.

Kids, Parents, Bullies
Kids who are mocked by parents are at a greater risk of becoming bullies and its victim too. Pixabay

Derisive parents use demeaning or belittling expressions that humiliate and frustrate the child, without any obvious provocation from the child. These parents respond to child engagement with criticism, sarcasm, put-downs, hostility and rely on emotional and physical coercion to obtain compliance.

Published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the study in which researchers followed 1,409 children (aged 13-15 years) for three consecutive years, emphasized on the emotional underpinnings of peer difficulties.

It was found that derisive parenting fosters dysregulated anger in adolescent children. Increases in dysregulated anger, in turn, place adolescents at greater risk for bullying and victimization.

Dysregulated anger is indicative of difficulties regulating emotion, which typically results in negative emotions, verbal and physical aggression and hostility.

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The behaviour of parents as well as other close family members towards children does have a lasting impact on their personality and mental development, said mental health expert Prakriti Poddar, Director at Poddar Foundation in Mumbai.

“Subjecting a child to insult, mockery or derision creates a wave of repressed anger and frustration in the child. Imagine a child telling a parent or another family member about an incident or about his/her understanding of a subject, and the parent responding by mocking or belittling the child! Now imagine, if this happens regularly. Not only will the child lose trust in the parent and stop confiding things, he/she will also grow into a vexed and confused personality,” Poddar told IANS.

“This child would not be confident about himself, will have repressed feelings of frustration and in a way will also start normalizing the behaviour of insulting of belittling others. This creates problems with peer adjustment and might lead the child to start victimizing or bullying others. kids develop in response to their environment, therefore, when their environment is toxic or negative, it breeds self-harm,” she added. (IANS)

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Know Why Parents Should Worry About Their Daughters’ Perfect Selfies

Why parents should worry about girls' perfect selfies

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Adolescent girls who invest a lot of time in editing and selecting the selfies to post are mostly body insecure. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Researchers have recently found that adolescent girls who invest a lot of time in editing and selecting the perfect selfie may feel more body shame and appearance anxiety.

Published in the Journal of Children and Media, the research showed that when adolescent girls spend too much time agonising over which photo of themselves to post, or rely heavily on editing apps to alter their images, there may be a cause for concern.

The study found that selfie editing and time invested in creating and selecting the perfect one, were both related to self-objectification, which led to body shame, appearance anxiety and more negative appearance evaluations in teen girls.

“Our main finding was that we really shouldn’t be too worried about kids who take selfies and share them; that’s not where the negative effects come from. It’s the investment and the editing that yielded negative effects,” said senior study author Jennifer Stevens Aubrey from University of Arizona in the US.

“Selfie editing and selfie investment predicted self-objectification, and girls who self-objectify were more likely to feel shameful about their bodies or anxious about their appearance,” Aubrey added. The findings were based on a study of 278 teenage girls, ages 14 to 17.

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“Our main finding was that we really shouldn’t be too worried about kids who take selfies and share them; that’s not where the negative effects come from,” said the researchers. Pixabay

They also responded to a series of statements designed to measure how much time and effort they spend selecting which selfies to share on social media – what researchers referred to in the paper as their level of “selfie investment.”

In addition, the girls completed a series of questionnaires designed to measure their levels of self-objectification and appearance concerns. The researchers said they chose to focus on adolescent girls because they are especially vulnerable to self-objectification.

Girls also are more likely than boys to experience negative consequences, such as body image issues, as the result of self-objectification, which can in turn lead to problems like depression and eating disorders, the researchers said. “Self-objectification is the pathway to so many things in adolescence that we want to prevent,” Aubrey said.

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The researchers said parents and caregivers of adolescent girls should be aware of red flags on teens’ phones, such as selfie editing apps or camera rolls teeming with selfies. If a teen seems to be selfie-obsessed, it might be time for a talk, they added. (IANS)