Barbara Coloroso Theory Explained


Barbara Coloroso has created a series of parenting theories that are designed to help parents fight bullying while helping children recover from being bullied or being a bystander to a bullying event. The goal of the Barbara Coloroso theory is simple: to break the cycle of violence.

Stopping violence, according to Coloroso, involves more than identifying a bully and then stopping that type of behavior. She recommends that the process of why a child becomes a bully and how a child becomes a target for a bully be examined so that steps can be taken to prevent both events from occurring.

At the same time, Coloroso also recommends looking at why some children are bystanders and may even encourage bullying behavior without becoming a traditional bully.

Kids Are Worth It in the Barbara Coloroso Theory

Coloroso believes that good parenting can help to prevent many bullying behaviors and stop children from being targeted by bullies as well. Children can become responsible, compassionated, and self-disciplined. They are resourceful. They also tend to have their rights taken away from them simply because they are children.

When children are permitted to take responsibility for their actions and learn from their successes or mistakes, then Coloroso believes that the cycle of violence can be stopped over time.

To encourage this aspect of family life, the Barbara Coloroso theory looks at specific topics to help parents teach their children higher levels of self-discipline. It begins with a positive home environment. Instead of focusing on mistakes only and trying to teach from them, she encourages parents to take teaching moments from a child’s successes as well.

This is reflected in her RSVP principle. RSVP stands for reasonable, simple, valuable, and practical consequences. Rules must be in place to help stop any trouble from happening before it has a chance to start. The focus must be on discipline instead of punishment while parents are encouraged to have an emotional disconnect from the situation.

That allows children to work on what Coloroso describes as the “Fourth R” of education: relationships.

The Issue of Cyberbullying and the Barbara Coloroso Theory

If you’ve read the comments on a news website, a political Facebook post, or messages received from certain members of the gaming community, then you have seen cyberbullying in action. A cyberbully does more than vehemently disagree with a post. They encourage a specific action to be taken by the recipient of the message, such as, “Go kill yourself,” or, “You are worthless.”

Traditional bullying involves threatening, stalking, and humiliation. There may be some ridicule, taunting, and the occasional rumor thrown in there as well. Because of the apparent anonymity of the online world, cyberbullies take these concepts to more destructive and violent levels. They are able to do so because they are removed from the immediate reaction of the individual and aren’t held accountable for their conduct like a traditional bully would be.

Being faceless and nameless gives power to the cycle of violence. It allows a bully to create terror that can be magnified across multiple electronic platforms with little threat of consequence.

It also eliminates the safe zones that children have traditionally had from bullies since it occurs outside of regular school hours.

What Is the Solution to Stop the Cycle of Violence?

According to Coloroso, one of the most effective ways to stop the cycle of violence is to teach children to think and act ethically. Part of a well-rounded education, at home and at school, must involve compassion, civility, and integrity. This theory suggests that every person has a deeply ingrained ability to care for other people. By teaching children to tap into this ethical concept, bullying behaviors are naturally reduced.

Coloroso also suggests that teaching children to share with generosity and to help willingly, even if there isn’t a personal benefit from doing so, helps to stop the cycles of violence as well. When the first urge is to help instead of hate, it becomes more difficult to harm someone else.

The Barbara Coloroso theory also suggests that a black-and-white view of morality or a complete emphasis on moral relativism must be brought toward some middle ground. Both interfere with raising children who can embrace their ethical cores.

Children have the tools they already need to stop cycles of violence from continuing. By teaching them how to embrace these concepts, the world could change very quickly toward a more peaceful environment. That way, every person can pursue a path that leads them toward their full potential.