Canada’s ranking as the 12th worst country for bullying among 40 wealthy nations is an eye-opener, say the organizers of a childhood bullying prevention conference held at McMaster University, wrote The Hamilton Spectator May 29:
York University Distinguished Research Professor in psychology, Debra Pepler, a PREVNet co-director and member of York’s Faculty of Health, said people don’t understand the level of the problem. “Canadians see ourselves as nice...(but) our children are not doing well.”
Crucial to preventing youth bullying and violence is for parents and other adults to show and teach healthy relationships, said Pepler. “Parents need to help kids think critically about their behaviour and how to treat people respectfully.”
If Canadian children are to do well despite all the media and societal exposure to violence and aggression, then they require a lot of guidance and exemplary behaviour from adults, she added. “What children observe is far more important than what they’re rewarded and punished for. We need to be much more mindful of what we teach them through our own behaviour as we get excited over hockey and ultimate fight clubs when they hear us say ‘kill them’.”
Pepler is also a member of the LaMarsh Centre for Research on Violence and Conflict Resolution at York University. The complete article is available on The Spectator's Web site.
By Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of YFile– York University’s daily e-bulletin.