© 2017 by the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault

3030 Merle Hay Road  |  Des Moines, IA 50310

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Infant to Preschool: Bullying

Bullying, especially bullying based on factors like gender, race, sexual orientation or gender expression, or ability, is associated with higher rates of sexual violence. In fact, some behaviors that are labeled “bullying” by schools and communities actually meet the legal definitions for sexual assault. Whether this behavior is happening in person or online, it requires a serious response from caring adults.

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Bullying in Preschool: Signs & Solutions

Every kid has days when he simply does not feel like going to preschool. However, if your child loves school and one day starts crying before being dropped off to school, or starts complaining of ailments and aches that are mysterious and do not add up, then the problem might be something more than an ache. Your child might be having a bad experience with preschool bullies.

Can preschoolers be bullies?

When you think “bully,” do you think “preschool”? Probably not. Yet a 2005 Brigham Young University study found that “relational aggression” — sometimes called “covert bullying” — can start as early as age 4. Researchers found that such bullying, generally defined as “manipulating the relationships of others in order to cause them harm,” is usually done so the bully can achieve social prominence. And they found that both preschool boys and girls were equally likely to bully, though their styles may differ.

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