Several key factors predict a child’s risk of victimization: being physically aggressive, harsh parenting methods and poverty, but the best predictor was physical aggression.
If a child is aggressive at age 2 years, he’s at highest risk. At 2½ years, there’s a lot of physical behavior, but most kids adjust socially by using verbal skills to negotiate peacefully.
Aggressive kids don’t develop these skills and their aggression turns in on them; they withdraw into shyness. Shyness, the inability to advocate for themselves, difficulty regulating their behavior and problems developing healthy relationships make them attractive targets for social predators.
Identify these traits in your child, change your parenting style and help them develop the verbal skills needed to build friendships. Don’t let them become victims.
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