Some of these things include:
- Help your daughters love and respect their bodies. The constant bombardment of idealized images of women (which subconsciously turn them into objects to be used by men) affects girls’ identities and self esteem. Eugenia Tarzibachi, an Argentine psychologist says: “Unfortunately, these episodes of violence between young girls are becoming more and more common. It’s hard to give an opinion about this particular case without knowing all the details, but many of these fights seems to be a phenomenon of our times related to how to establish your femininity.”
- Closely monitoring what they do online and how many hours they spend there. I know you’ve heard this before, and that there comes a point when you give up arguing with your kid over putting the electronics away. But you need to persevere. Track their movements online, review comments on their Facebook pages, try to identify early on any possible source of serious discord with classmates.
- Limit their exposure to violent TV programs, movies and videos for children younger than 12. Such constant exposure numbs their ability to have the normal reactions one would when faced with a violent situation.
- Teach your kids critical thinking skills from a very young age. If they can reason themselves out of a problem, they won’t feel the need to use their fists or worse.
- Talk to your kids daily about what happened in school. Don’t only ask about academic stuff but concern yourself with social interactions as well.
ARE YOU MODELING NON-VIOLENCE?
- Encourage your children to have play dates. Invite their friends over for no reason other than to hang out. The sooner and the better you know your kids’ friends, the closer you’ll be to noticing any trouble.
The most important thing you can do for your kids, however is this: Model a peaceful environment. Ask yourself: Do you or your partner often allow your passion to get the best of you and as a result you yell, hit, push, slap your partner, dog, kids? Think again.
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