For parents who are eagerly sending their children off to pre-school, the visions of fun and adventure abound. Unfortunately, these same children and parents are often met with a shocking discovery; bullies in the preschool setting.
Bullies, in general psychological terms are described as children who tend to be overly aggressive and show great interest in the repeated abuse and torment of other children, especially those younger than themselves.
For preschool children who are victims of a bully, most often the child who is committing the offense will be one that is usually larger in stature and, contrary to popular belief; the bully is just as likely to be female as male. In preschool, unlike grade school and middle school, the children who commit the bullying acts usually do so at random without any intention to pick on any one child. This is to say, the bully in preschool is most likely a bully to not only your child but also too many other children in the school.
As a parent, you may wonder why it is that your child has been chosen as the victim of this bullying. Rest assured, in most cases, the bullying of your child is not based on any specific issue of your child. In fact, the real issue, at this level of bullying, involves the emotional and psychological state of the child who is actually committing the bullying offense. Most often, this child may suffer from a lack of attention at home, may be bullied by older siblings and often have not learned the concept of sharing tangible items.
So, what are the characteristics of bullying in the preschool setting? Most often, the bullying by one preschool child begins as simple teasing or name calling and then may span into physical acts of violence if not managed by the preschool teachers and parents.
If your child is complaining about another preschool child, it is important to investigate the complaints early; as soon as your child expresses concern. Meet with the preschool and discuss the issues and concerns. In many cases, the preschool will meet with the parents of the child who is committing the bullying acts in an effort to resolve the matter. When not resolved, the preschool may need to discharge the child from their care. Should this not occur, and your child continues to feel intimidated, threatened or uncomfortable with the preschool environment, it is important to consider moving your child to another preschool setting.
With school violence at the forefront of our media attention, parents with preschools children should become well versed in the issues of bullies as the tendency for some violence in school can begin as early as the preschool setting. Before placing your child in preschool, discuss, with the school, the management and measures they have in place to control the extent of bullying of one preschool child to another.