Kids who are mocked by their parents are at a higher risk of becoming bullies, says research.
According to a study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, derisive parents use demeaning or belittling expressions to humiliate or frustrate the child, without any obvious provocation from him or her. They tend to engage with the child with criticism, sarcasm, put-downs and hostility, and rely on emotional and physical coercion to obtain compliance. The research was based on the results obtained from 1409 children, aged 13-15, over three consecutive years.
As per the findings, such kind of derision leads to dysregulated anger in adolescent children, which is indicative of difficulties regulating emotion. With increase in dysregulated anger increases the risk of adolescents being bullies or bully-victims (bullies are also victimised by other bullies).
The study suggests that derisive behaviour is a unique form of parenting which, in turn, increases the chance of kids adopting inappropriate anger management strategies, leading to peer difficulties.
Brett Laursen, co-author of the study, was quoted as saying, “Inappropriate interpersonal responses appear to spread from parents to children, where they spawn peer difficulties. Specifically, derisive parenting precipitates a cycle of negative affect and anger between parents and adolescents, which ultimately leads to greater adolescent bullying and victimisation. Our study is important because it provides a more complete understanding of how parents’ belittling and critical interactions with adolescents thwart their ability to maintain positive relationships with peers.”