Talk to Your Childcare Provider to Prevent Bullying
The biggest concern that parents have when sending their children to preschool is that their children are kept safe and happy. Unfortunately bullying seems to begin at an early age, and it is vital that this behavior be recognized and stopped before it becomes entrenched.
Through playing with others, children learn social skills, and it is natural that occasional roughness will occur. Children will also display aggressive behavior when they are experiencing emotional or physical stress. Bullying differs from this in that it is a repeated hurting of others and planned continuous victimization. The bully deliberately wants to cause hurt to the same child. In this way the bully gains control and power over the victim.
Your childcare provider is trained to be aware of the signs of children who are becoming bullies or are being bullied. It is often the case that the same child who is being bullied will begin to bully a younger child. Children also tend to gang up on others who are different and it is very important to intervene immediately when this occurs.
Especially during the preschool years, children need familiar structures and support. If the family has had frequent changes in residence, or little or no routine, children can feel out of control and this can result in bullying behavior. Later problems are a result of this early antisocial behavior.
Good communication is the key to dealing with this problem. The child care provider must have an open communication with the parent. Often there are contributing factors to the bullying behavior and recognizing early signs will benefit everyone. Children can become overly aggressive because they are acting out a situation at home, or they may be frustrated because they cannot communicate properly. Hearing or speech impediments can also cause angry aggressive behavior.
The ability to pay attention and learn decreases when a child is in a constant state of fear, or is stressed and insecure. Communication between the child care provider and parents in the case of the victim of the bullying is very important. Often these children are locked into the cycle of being a victim and need special care and attention. Teaching children to say ‘stop’ in playful situations will help them to be confident to say it when play gets too rough. Let the child judge when they have had enough. Using this method consistently at home and at school prepares them to say it when they are confronted by a bully and teaches a measure of courage.
The preschool years are the most formative in a child’s life. This is the time when they will learn social skills and appropriate behavior. They will learn core values and their personalities will develop. Attending a preschool where the teachers are caring, alert, and aware of early anti-social patterns is essential. An excellent child care provider will ensure that the balance between assertiveness and compassion for others is instilled in every child.