Taking these steps can help prevent and reduce the potential for violence in your child’s life:
• Give your child consistent love and attention. Children who don’t have a steady relationship with a caring adult are more likely to become hostile.
• Be a role model. Avoid responding to your child with hostile words or actions.
• Teach values of honesty, respect and pride in your family.
• Talk with children about ways to solve problems without violence. Role play how to respond with calm, firm words to insults, threats or if someone hits them.
• Make sure your middle-schooler is well supervised at home and during after-school activities.
• Don’t hit children. Slapping or spanking shows it’s okay to hit others to solve problems.
• Be consistent about rules. Not enforcing rules confuses children about what behavior you expect. It sets them up to “see what they can get away with.”
• Make sure children don’t have access to guns.
• Try to keep children from seeing violence in the home or community. If people in your home hurt each other physically or verbally, seek professional help.
• Don’t let children see too much violence in the media.
• Show children how to take precautions so they don’t become victims of violence.
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