Kids Parenting

Bullies in Preschool? How To Put a Stop to the Bullying

MJ goes to preschool a few days a week and he loves it. He’s made friends, does various learning activities, participates in fun crafts, and best of all, runs wild on the nice, enclosed playground. His experiences were positive every time he went to school, until now.

It turns out that Little Peter (name changed so I don’t hurt the little boogars feelings) is quite the roughian and decides that pushing, hitting and using force is the thing to do when he is less than happy. As MJ puts it, “He doesn’t want to share so he punched me in the stomach“. He doesn’t only hit MJ, but other boys and girls in the class as well. I asked him what he did after Peter hit him…  “I, I… nothing, but I said oww“.
Since when are there bullies in preschool? I know that biting and hitting does sometimes come into play, but this kid goes wild, often. He hits, yells, and also threw a toy that scratched MJ’s face. After the 3rd complaint from my son, I talked to him about it and realized that this kid is super rotten and pushes everyone around. Kids bullying in school is not acceptable, I guess I didn’t realize that kids bullying each other started so early.
So what did I do? I had a talk with MJ and explained to him that hitting is wrong. If it’s not a punching bag or a pinata, you shouldn’t do it! First, I told him he should shout “STOP HITTING ME!” to get into the kids head. However, if the kid bully continues to put their hands on him, I did give him permission to defend himself and hit young Peter back. Why? If he doesn’t, Peter will think that it’s ok to continue to hit MJ, totally disrespecting and taking advantage of him. NOT OK. I hate to tell him that it is occasionally ok to hit, but he’s gotta stand up for himself. Peter needs to learn that hitting is not the way to express yourself to get what you want.

I have talked to the teachers about him and they say they have not seen any hitting going on. I really do not want to start anything, but I am contemplating talking to his parents next.

Moms and Dads: Please, if your child is rotten, recognize it and work with him/her. It is not ok to bully in preschool, elementary, secondary, or later in adulthood. It has got to stop HERE.

How can you curb the kid bully in your child’s school or neighborhood? I am a firm believer that it starts at home, so be sure that all of the adults and other children involved are positive role models. Here are a few tips on how to stop the bullying now:

If your child is being bullied:

  • Talk to them about it and assess the situation. Make sure that your child knows that it is not acceptable to be bullied and that they are not the ones that are wrong here.
  • Tell a teacher. They can look for signs of bullying and place the appropriate punishment on the child while at school.
  • Be sure your child is sticking up for himself, somehow. Say NO. Don’t give in. Most bullies thrive on the weak and those who do not stick up for themselves, making them feel more powerful.
  • Have your child keep their distance from the bully, or simply ignore him. They may become bored and move along.
  • Be strong, do not show you are angry or upset. When bullies see someone flustered and crying, they think they have won.
  • If it gets really bad, parent intervention may be necessary.

If your child is the bully:

  • Explain how hurtful it is to others. Bullying can hurt a person physically as well as their feelings.
  • Give the bully the attention they are craving, but turn it into something positive. Sometimes they are looking for validation and can’t figure out how to express it any other way.
  • Pump up his/her self esteem. Make him feel great about something positive he did, that way he’ll focus on feeling powerful that way rather than picking on others.
  • Recognize that abuse, neglect, and other negative aspects of a child’s life can be the reason for bullying.
  • Find something that is calming to your child to settle their angry spells.
  • Reinforce general life principles: sharing, followng rules, being polite, waiting your turn, etc. When they realize that these are facets of every day life, they may not get so upset when they come across it.

Any other good suggestions? Leave a comment!

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