From The Desk of Darlene J. Harris – Bullying: Does this Behavior Stem from Home? by Cherrye Vasquez, Ph.D.

Greetings everyone,

Dr.Michael Ra Bouchard, thank you for allowing And He Restoreth My Soul Project to publish the following articles:Greetings everyone,

  • “It’s Never Too Late to Help Yourself Heal From Childhood Sexual Abuse”
  • “Domestic Violence Hurts Everybody”
  • “Heal Yourself and Break the Cycle of Violence.”

Many of our readers found these articles educating, encouraging and enlightening. I hope we hear more from Dr. Michael Ra Bouchard in the future.

I am excited about our first opportunity to publish information about bullying. Bullying is a serious issue facing our children be it in schools, churches, youth organizations, homes, and sports. I know you will gain insight as you read the information shared by Cherrye Vasquez, Ph.D.

I love every opportunity I get to serve you.


Darlene J. Harris


Author Bio: Cherrye is a public school administrator and an adjunct professor who has earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum & Instruction; a Master of Education in Special Education; and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Pathology/Audiology.

Cherrye’s areas of specializations are in Multi-cultural education, Early Childhood Handicapped, Mid-Management and Educational Diagnostician.

Cherrye lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Roy, and daughter, Kelly,

The focus of Cherrye’s books is diversity is healthy and bullying is not. The psychology that drives her writings is for children to realize that being different is healthy, important and not to be afraid of being different.  We are supposed to be different which makes us unique.  The central philosophy of her writings is that children should learn about each other’s similarities as well as differences.  What she wants children to learn from one another is that being unique is healthy, beautiful and important.  Diversity is what makes this country great, our schools vibrant, and the future of our country strong.


“Bullying: Does this Behavior Stem from Home?”

An array of bullying behaviors has been on the rise in our nation’s schools. Anti-bully advocates placed titles of bullying behaviors into categories making it easy for readers to learn bully types, shared the definition of bullying behaviors, given examples of what bullying looks like, shared tips with parents and school officials, plus so much more.

With ample information about bullying, there’s still one underlying question folks want answers to: Does bullying behaviors stem from the bully child’s home life? I might go on to add an additional question: If bullying behaviors stem from the child bully’s home life, why? What are the actions which prompt the child bully into hurting others?

Of course, no one cause-of-action is ever “written in stone” and not all definitions fit the mold for all children who bully, but as an advocate against bullying, I feel we must at least attempt to help readers and seekers of this very valid question, understand the “why” behind this question because this inquiry is, I’d say, well over-due an answer.

What we know is this: Family and family life are both important to child development, growth and molding children into productive citizens that we’d most certainly want to coexist among in today’s society.

Since family is one of the first interactions in a young child’s life, the daily interactions and influences of this unity is more than important, it’s downright imperative. Through close family ties, a child learns the ways of life and life’s expectations. The onset and shaping of identities begins very early in a child’s life. This is the commencement of a child learning ideas regarded as right, as well as the factors regarded as wrong.

Early life is also a period when children attempt to find out who they are, how they fit in and a time of development and transformation. It is highly important for children to be brought into, and experience positive family dynamics. This is the time when lots of guiding and patterning takes place. Parents have the power to sculpt their children into many styles, so this is a grand time when great parental leadership, good morals, and values come into play.

If children actually witness and have a sense of great relationships around their parents, they will in turn be able to build strong foundations effective for dealing with life’s atrocities, if there’ll be any. On the other hand, if children are born into, or brought into a dysfunctional family full of negativity, and strife children may fall victim to a life of vicious cycles, violence and chaos; a losing battle that will be incredibly difficult for a child to break through, unless resiliency (the ability to recover quickly from life’s setbacks) “kicks in.” Of course resiliency is a topic for another discussion.

We must also take into consideration how sibling dynamics play a role in shaping a child’s behavior. Research reveals having sisters and brothers can be measured as a resource for a child’s development. Although most parents realize and sometimes grow weary of their children quarreling back and forth, interactions such as these aid children in learning how to care for and respect one another. Planned well, sibling interactions can breed empathy and compassion. This is where social learning takes place, is built and grows. Siblings also learn how to mediate and solve problems together, especially when guided lovingly by their parents. Parents should realize the importance of positively assisting their children with balancing conflicts. When negative encounters are moderated by the affect (change or concern) sibling relationships may usurp improved understandings for their sister or brother’s emotions/feelings and perspectives/views on disagreements.

Here’s what happens, I believe. Once the child leaves the home environment and ventures outside the family dynamics, their association with others (classmates, teachers and etc.) can be progressive rather than negative.

Realizing the formation and strong lineage that family ties hold, it should make clear to educators to stand guard and make ready, ways of handling unexpected and perhaps deep-seeded issues that may arise when children bring “baggage” with them into classrooms. Some of this “baggage” may stem from home life situations. Children may not be privileged enough to be born into positive home environments. But, it isn’t their fault.

Since the initial contact is family, and since we know that by the time a child reaches school age, they would have been exposed to the intertwining ramifications of “things/stuff” happening in their lives for at least 4 years, if not longer, prior to entering Pre-K, educators must understand that some children may come to them from not so positive beginnings. With this in mind, teachers must gear themselves for this huge task at hand.

Since we know children first experience life with family, the family structure is most important. It would behoove parents to ensure positive influences. It is the impression of the family and its dynamics, interconnections and interactions that helps children deal with issues and identity development. This is a time when self-esteem can be either built up, or torn down. This is a time when emotional perspectives are shaped, and logical thinking forms.

Formative Years in Home Life: Ways to Prevent a Child from Becoming a Bully:

Always observe your children playing while gaining a better understanding of their personalities and relationships one to another

  • Provide a warm, soothing, nurturing home atmosphere
  • Ensure your children feel safe and secure
  • Provide stability in your home

When parents notice conflict between children, step in to moderate asking questions such as:

  • How do you think your sister felt when you threw her baby doll down in the dirt?”
  • How would you feel if your brother spit in your face?”
  • Tell your children you love them
  • Hug your children often
  • Never take sides with your children (unless one of them has really gotten out of control), rather, explain to your children the difference between right/wrong
  • Use a quiet, kind voice when speaking and explaining right/wrong with your children

Although parents are not perfect, parents can take steps to lessen the chance of their child becoming a bully.

A Talk to Teachers

Teachers will have children in their classrooms who are exposed to parental neglect, abuse of all sorts, and home lives which lack structure.

Teachers should be prepared and very willing and able to assist students for sincere and imbedded longing of a different more appropriate way of life — at least during the school hours. I believe most children want to do what is just, good and right. We may have to help some children break old habits, learn kindness, consideration and sharing techniques. We must embrace children, show them respect and how to earn the respect of others, but most importantly, we must meet children where they are even if it appears their lives are full of snares, and strife.

.When teachers are efficacious and believe they can and will make a difference in the lives of children regardless of a child’s background, and home life environments these are the teachers who will be instrumental in assisting children with breaking out of, and losing unwelcome, unhealthy, brutal influences possibly learned from home.

Cherrye Vasquez, Ph.D.

Additional Resource:

Presentation to Support Parents who have children who ARE bullied:

Ctrl+Click to open/follow hyperlink – My Child is being Bullied: What Can I Do?

Author Contact Information:




Author Motto:

Love is the key to diversity!