Ways to stop sibling bullying at home

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AURORA, Colo. -- Aurora mom Angelina Bodie is open about what happened to her as a little girl.

She says she was bullied constantly.

“I was called Chewbacca because I was so hairy," Bodie said.

Decades later she still feels the sting.   "Those things, they do hurt and they do follow you.”

Bodie said she has also experienced bullying at home.

A study in the Journal Pediatrics shows that while bullying at school is recognized as a problem, bullying by brothers and sisters at home is considered by many to be normal.

Researchers say any type of bullying can lead to increased depression, anxiety and anger.

Dr. Natalie Abramson , a pediatric psychologist at Children`s Hospital Colorado (which was not involved in the study), said parents need to set standards and stick by them.

“I think there was an inaccurate assumption that all siblings fight like cats and dogs and that's just normal," Abramson said. "The standards for behavior need to be as high if not higher inside the home as they are outside the home."

According to some studies nearly half of children have been punched, kicked or bitten by a sibling.

Abramson said parents need to step in and teach children  not to use violence or harmful words.

“It can have very lasting implications for your child in terms of their level of anxiety, perhaps their level of sadness and even eventually their level of academic success and professional success," Abramson said.

Research shows all areas of a child’s development into adulthood can be affected by growing up in a household that they perceive as hostile and unwelcoming.

For more information about how to take steps to stop sibling bullying visit Bullying.About.com.