Aggressive parenting and teaching is turning children into schoolyard bullies, a parenting researcher will warn a national bullying conference on Thursday.
Dr Justin Coulson argues authoritarian behaviour – yelling, threatening, withdrawing privileges and hitting – is breeding a culture of systemic bullying that will be passed on to future generations.
“Most adults don’t see it as bullying, they see it as discipline,” he said before the presentation. “But discipline means to teach. It does not mean punish, hurt, make afraid or distress. The research has been telling us for decades that approaches like this don’t work and that they actually model aggressive behaviours and our children copy that and become bullies.”
One in four Australian students is frequently bullied at school, a large-scale national survey found in 2009.