Early Intervention May Prevent Bullying

What’s the best way to stop a bully? Don’t let him (or her) become one. Multiple studies have shown that teaching children positive social skills and taking proactive steps to prevent and discourage delinquent behavior can go a long way toward preventing bullying and providing a more effective learning environment.

Unfortunately, childhood bullying has become a 24/7 problem, and the anonymity of the Internet makes it more difficult to identify and punish bullies. But programs in which schools and the community work together to prevent bullying and reduce disruptive behavior can make a difference.

The benefits of bullying prevention programs include freeing teachers to teach, instead of spending their time disciplining students. Bullying prevention programs also cut down on chaos in the classroom and foster a positive learning environment.

“After 20 years of working with at-risk youth, I know there is something in all of us that can contribute to this solution,” said Michelle Molina, president and CEO of PeaceBuilders. “Children need to be given the skills so they can solve these problems, and adults need to be the guides on the sides.”

According to the nonprofit organization Child Trends, PeaceBuilders has been found to work in increasing conflict-resolution skills and reducing aggression and bullying.

PeaceBuilders is a program designed to foster a positive environment not only in schools, but at home and in the community. The program is already in place in thousands of schools across the United States, where it is used to prevent and decrease bullying and other disruptive behavior by promoting a positive learning environment.

PeaceBuilders is designed to combat bullying early through a combination of school-based programs, parent training and community outreach. Parents are a critical part of the program, ensuring that practices are duplicated at home. The PeaceBuilders program can be tailored to ages and developmental levels from preschool through high school.

The program works by first identifying risk factors for bullying, including violent or aggressive behavior, drug use and tobacco use. PeaceBuilders provides tools to foster civil behavior and to discourage disruptive behavior. Then a roadmap is created that includes regularly praising children and teens for good behavior at school and at home, involving parents in improving behavior before children reach adolescence, discouraging insults and bad behavior and providing educational materials for teachers to use in the classroom to help communities create a way of life that encourages people to be nicer to each other through customized prevention programs.

For more information, visit www.peacebuilders.com.

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