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.
It is unfortunate that there is such a thing as bullying, even in preschool. If your baby is tiny and is the target of bullies in preschool, it is very likely that he will not have the verbal skills to let you know that he is being tormented, or the social skills that are required to help him know how to fight back (with his words, not physically). It is, therefore, your responsibility to make his bully-proof and help him express what he feels. If you do this, he’ll be able to put up with bullies by the time your baby gets to grade school.
Is Your Child Bullying in Preschool or Being Bullied in Preschool?
There are certain signs that can tell you whether not your child is being bullied or your child is the problem. Having your child as a victim to bullying, or having your child bullying other children can be a heart wrenching experience for every parent.
1. Signs That Your Kid Is Being Bullied in Preschool
He complains of headaches and bellyaches every time before he is dropped off at a daycare, play date or preschool.
Your kid previously loved preschool, but he no longer wants to go.
He constantly tells you that a kid is being mean to him, bothering him or bugging him.
He does not want to play with a child that he at one time liked.
He all of a sudden becomes fearful, clingy, depressed or withdrawn.
He has a lot of boo-boos of late. It is only natural that your child gets bruises and bumps when playing. However, if you notice that your child has more than a normal bruise, or claims to forget the details of how he hurt himself, then this can be a signal that you need to have a closer look at whatever he is doing.
He makes belittling comments about himself like “no one likes me”, “I am a loser”, or “I am stupid.”
2. Signs That Your Kid Is Bullying Others in Preschool
Your kid needs to feel in control and powerful.
Your kid always feels that he does nothing wrong.
Your child is quick to turn to aggression or gets hot tempered.
He could be very aggressive towards adults.
Your kid shows little empathy for other people.
How Can I Help with Bullying in Preschool?
1. If Your Kid Is Being Bullied
Communicate with your child: Let your child know that you cannot help them unless you know the exact situation. Listen to their feelings and stories. Be calm and try not to be judgmental. Bear in mind that there is always two sides of the story.
Talk with a caregiver at your child’s preschool: Inquire from her whether she has noticed any interactions that are inappropriate between your child and the bully. Tell your side of the story and get the facts right. Ask for advice and ask her to state your concerns to all caregivers.
Find out a solution with the caregiver: Some cases might take days and some weeks to conclude that there is a problemand how serious the problem is. Once it is concluded that there is a problem, sit down with your caregivers and come up with a plan to resolve the conflicts. The plan should include ways to encourage appropriate behavior, appropriate consequences and notification of all the parties that are involved.
Encourage your child to make friends: Identify a child in the preschool who your child gets along with well and invite him, together with his parents to your place for a play date. This will prevent your child from becoming withdrawn.
2. If Your Kid Is the Problem
Do not ignore: Do not deny that there is a problem. Ignorance is not really the best solution as it does not really make the problem go away. As much as your child may not entirely be responsible, he is still part of the equation. A problem can only be solved if all the parties are satisfied. Try as much as possible not to minimize the issue as this only proves to your child that not considering the feelings of other people is accepted.
Identify the source: Give a lot of attention to good behavior so that he doesn’t feel like he needs to act up to get your attention. Make sure that there is a routine for your child to follow everyday. Try as much as possible to ensure that your child does not experience too many changes in routines, residence and authority figures.
Take time to talk with your kid: Listen to their feelings and stories. Always remember that there are always two sides of the story. Write down specific aspects of the behavior that have information that can help your child work towards a solution.
Teach him to have empathy: Often, bullies lack the feeling of empathy. Ask your child to put himself in the shoes of the other child when discussing certain incidents. Use simple, short and clear sentences to describe the feelings of other children.
Focus on reparations: Help your kid understand what they did caused harm to another, and question him why he behaved in that way. Then work with your kid to develop meaningful ways to show they are sorry for whatever they did.
3. Things You Should Do to Stop Bullying in Preschool
Contact the teacher: It can be very embarrassing to raise the subject of bullying in preschool. However, it is better to bring the topic up if you note that something is wrong rather than wait until something bad happens.
Make an appearance: If your kid is simply a darling in the house, make time to see your child in the classroom. Offer to visit at lunch or volunteer to help with a school project. The observation you make can help you determine what is going on, and put it to an end.
Act as a good role model: Always remind yourself that your little one is always watching and learning from you. Do not make snarky comments about another persons’ outfit in the presence of your child or lash out at another driver who cuts you off rudely in traffic.
Show your love: If your child is a bully in preschool, it might just be a way for him to build his herself esteem or get noticed. It is, therefore, very important to give your little one enough one-on-one time, and include extra smooches and hugs.