Home » FRESH READ » ROOTS OF MEAN AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR CAN BE FOUND IN CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS THREE YEARS OLD, SAYS EXPERT

ROOTS OF MEAN AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR CAN BE FOUND IN CHILDREN AS YOUNG AS THREE YEARS OLD, SAYS EXPERT

Upcoming Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation parenting talk to discuss early warning signs of bullying behavior

A recent study by the Abu Dhabi Education Council reveals that more than two in five children in Abu Dhabi schools say they had been bullied, ridiculed or verbally abused more than once.

With school bullying a situation that many families in the UAE are likely to face at some point during their child’s education, Dr. Ron Slaby and Dr. Kim Storey – co-authors of the Eyes on Bullying in Early Childhood Toolkit – will address the issue at the ‘Bulling Prevention Begins in Early Childhood’ parenting talk hosted by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation on Monday 2 May.

Dr. Slaby and Dr. Storey will explore the roots of mean or aggressive behavior in young children and offer advice for teaching children to treat others with kindness and respect, as well as for preventing bullying before it starts.

“It’s easy for parents and teachers to overlook bullying traits in young children,” said Dr. Slaby, a Senior Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. “It’s common for adults to think that young children are too young or too naive and innocent to bully and that they are incapable of deliberate behavior that is intended to harm other children. It’s important to be able to recognize the early warning signs so that parents and other adults can reinforce ethical behavior in children in their early years. If you don’t stop bullying, it will grow and spread.”

Dr. Storey, a Child Development Specialist and Education Media Consultant, added: “Although research has shown that mean and aggressive behavior in children as young as three can be early warning signs of later bullying in school, the roots of empathy and pro-social skills are also present in young children. Ethical behavior should be reinforced so children learn to understand the difference between the right and wrong way to treat people as they grow up.”

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The ‘Bullying Prevention Begins in Early Childhood’ is the second installment in a two-part series by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation entitled Ethical and Moral Development in Young Children. The series explores research about children’s social, emotional and ethical development, and outlines the core skills that contribute to children’s success in relationships, school and life.

The first talk, ‘Raising Children Who Care About Others and Their Communities’ took place on 14 March and was led by Dr. Luba Falk Feigenberg, Managing Director, Making Caring Common Project at Harvard University.The session was moderated by Dr. Justin Thomas, Associate Professor Psychology Zayed University, Abu Dhabi.

Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohammed Al Nahyan, leader and patron of the Foundation’s Early Childhood Development program, said: “Raising ethical children who have morally sound values can be challenging as children face complicated situations every day. It can be difficult for parents and teachers to recognize bullying behavior when children are very young as it starts to emerge in social settings at pre-school, nursery or play group. These environments give the opportunity for adults to instill positive social interactions.”

The ‘Bulling Prevention Begins in Early Childhood’ talk will take place from 6pm to 8pm on Monday 2 May at Studio 2, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi. The event also includes a Children’s Workshop, which provides art activities for children ages 6 months to 12 years. All sessions are free and open to the public. Interested attendees can register by emailing at eduprogram@shf.ae

For more information please visit: www.shf.ae

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