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MilLife Guides

Preventing Harmful Behaviors in Children and Youth


Help your MilKids grow up safely and thrive by being prepared to support your children if they are involved in harmful behaviors such as bullying or concerning sexual behavior. Know the facts and what resources are available.

This MilLife Guide will help you identify the signs of bullying and find ways to help a child who is being bullied. It also offers information and resources about the stages of sexual development in childhood to help you learn what is typical or expected as well as other places to turn if you are concerned.

Preventing bullying behaviors

Bullying isn’t just physical. Anyone can be bullied, and anyone can engage in bullying behavior.

View the resources below to learn the forms bullying can take, how to help a child who is being bullied, and how to prevent your child from engaging in bullying behavior.

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Watch for signs and provide help

Children who are targets of bullying are more likely to experience difficulties with schoolwork, eating disorders and obesity, and anxiety and depression.

Frequent moves present challenges with connectedness and relationships with peers and adult role models ─ such as teachers and staff ─ as well as with engagement in a community and its activities. Connectedness with caring, pro-social adults and activities can help prevent bullying and other forms of youth violence.

If you’re concerned that your child may be getting bullied or may be bullying someone else, there are numerous resources that can help you address the unwanted behavior. Check out the articles below for more information on bullying.

Understanding childhood sexual behavior

Sexual development is part of growing up; the more you know the better you can ensure the safety and well-being of your children at each age and stage of development.

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Understand the development stages

Get a better understanding of typical sexual behaviors by reading Healthy Sexual Behaviors in Children. Military OneSource also provides guidance on teaching your kids healthy boundaries.

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Learn about problematic sexual behavior between children and youth

Problematic sexual behavior is behavior initiated by children and youth that is developmentally inappropriate or potentially harmful. Learn more by visiting this FAQ and Resource Guide for Parents and Caregivers.

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Reach out for help

If you have questions about your child’s sexual behavior, reach out to your pediatrician or school counselor. You can also check out the following resources.

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