Bullying: A Family Affair - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Bullying: A Family Affair

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Parents, you might want to pay much closer attention to how your children treat one another. For the longest time, sibling rivalry was thought to be just a normal part of growing up and not a big deal. Turns out it can be and often is a very big deal that can have lifelong consequences. Having grown up a bullied little brother myself by a sibling who was seven years my senior, this is not news to me. However, many parents out there may be somewhat stunned by the findings of a new study.

Bullying has become front page news these days as parents, educators, doctors and other experts have been more forthcoming about the dire consequences and long lasting effects to those who are constantly picked on. But the effort has largely focused on bullies outside the family. Now a new study finds that 32 percent of children and adolescents have experienced some type of sibling aggression during the past year. Furthermore, and this is especially significant, the study shows regardless of whether the bullying by family members is mild or severe, the victims have far worse mental health than children who are not bullied.

The study was done by the National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence, which documents the incidence and prevalence of kids' exposure to violent behavior. Bullying includes everything from physical assault, destruction of property, and psychological aggression such as name-calling or telling a child he or she isn't wanted.

While there don't seem to be any set answers on how to deal with sibling bullying, it is clearly incumbent upon parents to intervene and put a stop to it when they see it happening. If they don't, the result could not only adversely effect the mental health of the victim, but cause an irreparable rift in relationships within the family.

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